Report: Further inmate brain study may improve lives

A new study by the University of Denver states that further study into the brain injuries of inmates may lead toward better treatment options


By C1 Staff

DENVER, Colo. — A new study by the University of Denver states that further study into the brain injuries of inmates may lead toward better treatment options and overall better lives.

The study, as reported by the Reporter Herald, states that almost all inmates in a high-risk part of the downtown Denver jail had experienced a traumatic incident – car wreck, shooting, fight or other injury – that led to a brain injury.

The findings could help those operating jails to better understand inmate behavior and difficulties. One example is that an inmate with a brain injury might have trouble following directions, thus leading to tension inside the facility.

In addition to the brain injuries, more than 90 percent of inmates in the high-risk unit had mental illnesses and problems with substance abuse.

Better understanding of inmate behavior would also assist officers in their day-to-day tasks.

“The flip side is to help officers understand maybe they are not being obstinate, maybe it’s that they don’t understand,” said Jennifer Gafford, a Denver County Sheriff’s Department staff psychologist.

The study was made possible through grant funding that created the Colorado Brain Injury Program, which tries to connect inmates who have been released with brain trauma therapists in the community.

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