American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 54, Issue 2 (2018)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


Stress and vicarious trauma are frequently discussed as a problem for frontline workers who do trauma work. When we say frontline workers, people often think of emergency medical professionals, law enforcement, child welfare caseworkers, therapists, and residential staff for mental health facilities or prisons. Rarely do people think of the often quiet and even-tempered people who wear robes and sit behind a bench for a living: judges. Our public perceptions of the judge are as a person of ultimate neutrality who dispenses justice. But in reality judges also experience not only stress, but also vicarious trauma.