Program for Incarcerated Teens Addresses TBI
A Texas program for incarcerated adolescents has incorporated TBI screening and treatment to address impulsive behaviors and a lack of self-control. Through a grant, the study will provide assessment and treatment and be coordinated with Wayne Gordon, Ph.D. through Mount Sinai in New York to evaluate the program’s effectiveness.
The number of adult individuals with brain injury who are in prison approaches 70% nationally. These individuals have brain injuries from multiple causes including: fights, domestic violence, car accidents and other sources of brain injury. Many of the people in prison with TBI have experienced multiple brain injury. Dorothy Lewis, MD, in her well-known and recognized study of Death Row inmates, found that the rate of neurological injury and/or illness approached 90% on Death Row. Her study of incarcerated adolescents also revealed high rates of neurological injuries and related problems with self-control, impulsive behaviors and anger management.
We know that brain injury can produce problems with impulse control, planning and anger management. Certainly the Texas program is focusing on the causes of behavior which can get teens into trouble and providing treatment for them to learn self-regulation and behavioral alternatives. Maybe the Texas program can set the standard for a new way of treating individuals with brain injury who are incarcerated.
Click here to read the news report on the Texas program.