Nearly every inmate screened—96 percent—had a traumatic brain injury. That’s … far higher than the estimated 6 percent to 8.5 percent of the general population…
Traumatic brain injury has been proven to be a major risk factor for depression,post-traumatic stress disorder, aggressive behavior, substance abuse, and homelessness. But it’s also often associated with criminal behavior because it can, in some people, seem to alter all their behavior. Studies have shown that “the amount of verbal aggression, temper outbursts, and disinhibition” can increase after an injury, and that the aggression can become chronic if it isn’t addressed. According to a 2010 study in the journal Brain Injury, adult offenders with histories of traumatic brain injury also tend to enter the criminal justice system at a younger age than offenders without injuries, and to stay in it for longer. –Lauren Kirchner

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a person who changes after suffering a traumatic brain injury.

Journaling Prompt: How does this research affect your opinion of prison inmates?

Art Prompt: Traumatic brain injuries in convicts

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Share this research with your audience and suggest some possible reforms for our treatment of convicts.

Photo Credit: Wally Gobetz on Flickr

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