The effects of a traumatic brain injury can extend far beyond physical symptoms. Those who have suffered a TBI often experience cognitive impairment as well as behavioral changes. Research has found that TBI can cause aggression and impulse control.
Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that people with a TBI in their past are more likely to be incarcerated than those who haven’t suffered one. A recent Canadian study found that they were 2.5 more likely to end up behind bars. Further, it found that men who had suffered multiple TBIs were at greater risk of becoming incarcerated than those who’d only suffered one.
The study, conducted in Ontario, is one of the largest investigations into the link between incarceration and TBI ever done. Researchers looked at data on 1.4 million young adults between 1997 and 2011. The findings, according to the study “contribute to emerging research suggesting that TBI is an important risk factor for criminal justice involvement and builds on this evidence.”
Studies done in the U.S. have found a similar connection. In a 2012 Scientific American article, it was reported that about 60 percent of prisoners had suffered at least one TBI, compared to approximately 8.5 percent of non-incarcerated adults. Some prison systems had an even higher rate of inmates with a TBI in their past.
When someone suffers a TBI, they don’t always notice changes in their own behavior unless they become drastic. Loved ones and others around them may be more likely to notice. However, they’ve often chalked up to residual fear or anger from whatever event surrounded the injury rather than changes to the brain.
It’s essential to understand all of the ways in which you or a loved one has been impacted by a TBI so that you can seek the necessary medical and psychological treatment as soon as possible. If you are seeking legal recourse against a person or entity responsible for the injury, it’s important for you and your attorney to include the cost of any treatment as you determine how much compensation to seek.
Source: Mad in America, “Traumatic Brain Injury Associated with Incarceration,” Shannon Peters, accessed Jan. 30, 2017