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Brain injuries found at higher rates in prison populations

Any traumatic injury to the body has the potential to be life altering. When the brain is involved, the effects may not always be immediately obvious, but they can be just as serious. A recent study on traumatic brain injuries conducted in Ontario has revealed a surprising result regarding their long-term implications.  

As part of the study done by St. Michael’s Hospital, researchers looked at the records of over 1.4 million Ontarians who were between 18 and 28 years of age in 1997. Statistically, people in that group who had suffered a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, were more than twice as likely to have wound up in a federal penitentiary by 2011 than those individuals without a TBI.  

For those from the group who had not suffered a TBI, the incarceration rate was approximately .2 percent. Men and women with a TBI were incarcerated at a rate of around .5 percent. The researches did point out the limitations of the data, such as the exclusion of provincial prisons from the study. And while it does not establish an indisputable link between brain injury and criminal behaviour, it does provide further insight into the effects of TBI. 

Even removing the possibility of ending up in jail, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke lists many potentially serious long-term effects of brain injuries such as anxiety, depression, cognitive issues and personality changes. Anyone who has been afflicted with a brain injury because of an accident in Ontario that was not their own fault might want to bring their case to a personal injury lawyer. It may be possible to seek compensation for the toll such an injury can take on a person’s life.  

Source: Medical Daily, “Traumatic Brain Injury Is More Common In Prisons, Study Finds“, Elana Glowatz, Dec. 8, 2016

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