Nearly 65% of prisoners at women’s jail “show signs of brain injury”

Nearly 65% of prisoners at a women’s jail may have suffered traumatic brain injuries at some point in their lives, a study has found.

Research by the Disabilities Trust and Royal Holloway, University of London, found that of the 173 women screened at Drake Hall prison in Staffordshire answering questions about blows to the head, 64% gave answers consistent with having symptoms of a brain injury. The symptoms of 96% of the women suggested that these arose from physical trauma.

The work adds to a growing body of research on the over-representation of people with brain injuries in the prison population. In 2012, a university of Exeter report described traumatic brain injury as a “silent epidemic”. In 2010 a study of 200 adult male prisoners found 60% had suffered a head injury.

Research has suggested that traumatic brain injury (TBI) could increase the likelihood of violent behaviour, criminal convictions, mental health problems and suicide attempts.

“The needs of somebody in prison with TBI are likely to be complex, and the lack of understanding and identification of a brain injury results in a higher risk of custody and reoffending,” said the Disabilities Trust.

Full story: Guardian

Author: Philip Challinor
Posted on: 6th February 2019