by Kyle Beard on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020
Anyone who is registered to vote or has a driver’s license can get called to jury duty where you go to court and help make the decision about whether the one on trial is guilty or not guilty. But, what happens to people who are called who have been through a similar situation as the one on trial? It is best to try to get out of being called for that particular case and to speak to a therapist about how to handle it all if you cannot get out of it.
Jury duty can be very traumatizing for those who have and have not suffered through trauma. You are exposed to the horrific details of the crime and have to see pictures of the evidence. You need to know as much information as possible to be able to reach a verdict. It can also be damaging to your mental health in that you may have gone through treatment of your PTSD and are finally doing fine. But, this case you have been called in can reopen all of those feelings again.
It is important that people with a conflict of interest, strong prejudices, or anything else that can influence your decision will not be selected. A juror can inform the judge and lawyers that they cannot serve for whatever reason, including surviving a similar crime. Since jury selection is up to the judge, however, there is no guarantee that expressing reservations about a case will get you dismissed. It is still important to express concern about your mental health to the judge to avoid any triggers from occurring of your PTSD.
Right now, most courts do not offer specific mental health resources for jurors. In extreme cases, though, judges have helped jurors receive counseling. Through the federal Employee Assistance Program, jurors on federal cases are eligible for free counseling. A judge can extend the juror’s service period beyond the case’s completion in order to still receive mental health treatment. If you know that your PTSD will be triggered or worsened being on the jury, you need to be honest with the judge about it. By finding a support system like your friends, family, or a therapist, you can learn how to handle your PTSD symptoms during a traumatic trial.
Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. In order to offer patients a more holistic view on healthy sexuality, Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-6585 as we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.