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Project finds high rate of brain injuries in inmate population

Traumatic brain injuries can have a myriad of impacts on a victim's life, many of which are still being uncovered by science. One recent project investigated claims that people with brain injuries are more likely to commit crimes and be incarcerated. They found that a significantly higher percentage of inmates and probationers had a history of TBI than those in the general population. This data would be of interest to brain injury victims in Delaware who have had run-ins with the law.

The project sought to identify inmates and probationers with TBI. It did so by screening inmates and probationers in 18 facilities. Of the over 3,400 individuals screened, it was noted that 53 percent had a history of serious traumatic brain injury. This is a large difference from the general population's rate of TBI at 8 percent.

To be seen as having a history of TBI based on the project's specifications, the subject had to have been unconcious for more than 30 minutes. This would constitute a moderate to severe brain injury. Of those found with a history of TBI, 80 percent had been in hospital as a result of their injury.

It is still unclear whether the brain injuries resulted from criminal behavior, such as assaults and interpersonal violence, or if the criminal conduct was influenced by the changes in the brain. Most of the inmates and probationers had suffered their injuries due to assault and interpersonal violence, but veterans were also included in this group. While the effect brain injuries can have on a person's life and well-being have yet to be fully understood, there are still some damages that can be quantified. Delaware brain injury victims who would like to seek payment for these damages from a party deemed culpable should speak with a lawyer in the state.

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