(Reuters Health) – Men and women who suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) had more than twice the risk of winding up in a federal prison in Canada as their uninjured peers, a new study found. That doesn’t surprise Dr. Geoffrey Manley, a neurosurgeon who runs a trauma center. He knows all too well the long-term struggles of survivors of TBI.
“Because there’s no system of care for these individuals, they fall into the cracks and get themselves in trouble. And we really as a society are not doing a good job of taking care of people with traumatic brain injuries,” Manley, who was not involved in the study, said in a phone interview.
For 13 years, researchers followed more than 1.4 million people who were eligible for health care in Ontario, Canada and were between the ages of 18 and 28 in 1997. As reported in CMAJ Open, the research team linked subjects’ health records to correctional records, adjusted for a variety of factors like age and substance abuse, and found that men with TBI were 2.5 times more likely to serve time in a Canadian federal prison than men without TBI.