Traumatic brain injury in a county jail population: prevalence, neuropsychological functioning and psychiatric disorders

Brain Inj. 2003 Sep;17(9):731-41. doi: 10.1080/0269905031000088649.


Primary objective: To determine the prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among inmates in a county jail population.

Research design: Cross-sectional, observational study.

Methods and procedures: A standardized interview was used to determine prevalence of TBI in 69 randomly selected inmates. To examine cognitive and emotional differences between subjects with and without recent TBI, neuropsychological tests and structured psychiatric diagnostic interviews were conducted with 50 subjects (the first 25 with TBI and the first 25 without TBI in the prior year).

Results: Sixty (87.0%) reported TBI over their lifetime; 25 (36.2%) reported TBI in the prior year. The latter group had significantly worse anger and aggression scores and had a trend towards poorer cognitive test results and a higher prevalence of psychiatric disorders than the group without TBI in the prior year.

Conclusion: This study suggests the need for increased attention to TBI and its cognitive, behavioural and psychiatric sequelae in jail populations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggression / psychology
  • Anger
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Prisoners / psychology*
  • Prisons
  • Washington / epidemiology