Brain injury in an offender population: Implications for reentry and community transition [2019]

This article describes a demonstration project conducted over two years with men from a maximum-security prison in southeastern PA. The project’s core strategy was to identify inmates with history of brain injury, determine their medical/physical, neurocognitive, and behavioral barriers to successful re-entry, and create and implement release plans including connections to brain injury resources and community supports. Ultimately the goal was to reduce recidivism and improve productivity among the participants. More than 75% of those screened reported a possible history of brain injury, and 74% of those tested demonstrated evidence of neurocognitive impairment. Most injuries occurred prior to the age of 21 and incarceration. The average number of reported brain injuries per participant was 3.8. Impairments were most commonly in the areas of memory and executive functioning. Connections to resources were made for those involved in the project using a process called NeuroResource Facilitation. Outcome data was limited by the time constraints of the project, but preliminarily indicated a reduction in recidivism and an increase in productivity. Implications of this project, including recommendations for further action in corrections settings, are included.

Drew Nagele, Monica Vaccaro, MJ Schmidt & Daniel Keating
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 30 Jan 2019