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The Correlation Between Prisoners and Traumatic Brain Injuries

I read an interesting article recently which discusses the fact that the number of prisoners who have suffered a traumatic brain injury is significantly higher than non-incarcerated adults. While about 8.5% of non-incarcerated adults have suffered a TBI at some point in their lives, for those who are incarcerated the percentage jumps to more than 60%!

Some believe that these injuries, which are known to change a person’s behavior, emotions and impulse control, play a part in why prisoners are kept behind bars for longer periods of time. Others believe these injuries can also increase the odds that they will end up in prison again. Although the majority of people who suffer a TBI will not end up in the criminal justice system, each one who does costs the state an average of $29,000 a year.

With more than two million people in the U.S. currently locked up—and millions more lingering in the justice system on probation or supervision—the widespread issue of TBI in prison populations is starting to gain wider attention.

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