NC Judicial Branch

RALEIGH — North Carolina Chief Justice Paul Newby launched the Task Force on ACEs-Informed Courts on Tuesday, May 18.

The mission of the Task Force is to enable Judicial Branch stakeholders to understand the impact on children of exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences/Adverse Community Environments, and to develop strategies for addressing adverse consequences within our court system.

“I’m pleased to announce I am establishing the Task Force on ACEs-Informed Courts,” Newby said. “These traumas increase the likelihood that these children will end up in the courtroom. I look forward to the positive outcomes this group will produce for our children and our communities.”

To accomplish this mission, the task force will provide judges and court administrators with practical education on the effects of ACEs, equip juvenile court officials to recognize young offenders and victims impacted by ACEs, identify existing programs and design new programs that intervene in the lives of young ACEs offenders and victims affected by ACEs to put them on a path away from the courthouse and into a successful adult life and provide a platform from which court officials can offer feedback to educators regarding their experiences, with the hope of creating further avenues for research on this important topic.

The task force will be co-chaired by Judge Andrew T. Heath, director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, and District Attorney Ben David for New Hanover and Pender counties.

Task force members are appointed by Newby and are representative of all stakeholder groups within our court system: judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, clerks, law enforcement, private attorneys and child-representatives, as well as academic leaders.

More information on the task force, the video announcement of its forming and the full list of task force members can be found at

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