Traumatic brain injury among Australian prisoners: rates, recurrence and sequelae

Brain Inj. 2006 May;20(5):499-506. doi: 10.1080/02699050600664749.


Primary objective: To establish the prevalence, severity, recurrence and sequelae of past traumatic brain injury (TBI) among individuals recently received into custody.

Research design: Cross-sectional random sample of men recently received into the New South Wales' (NSW) criminal justice system.

Procedures: Participants were screened for a history of TBI including the injury setting, severity, treatment and sequelae of up to five separate TBI episodes.

Outcomes and results: Of 200 study participants, 82% endorsed a history of at least one TBI of any severity and 65% a history of TBI with a loss of consciousness (LOC). Multiple past TBIs were common, as were ongoing sequelae. Treatment for the TBI was more common among those TBIs with a LOC compared with no LOC (66% vs. 39%).

Conclusions: Among individuals entering the criminal justice system, past TBI is common and often associated with ongoing neuropsychiatric and social sequelae. Screening for TBI at the point of reception may be warranted to better understand and treat those with ongoing neuropsychiatric sequelae arising from the TBI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New South Wales
  • Prevalence
  • Prisoners*
  • Unconsciousness / epidemiology