TBI Among the Homeless and Incarcerated


Homelessness and being sent to jail are all too commonly associated with traumatic brain injury. Here’s a start to understanding the degree of this society-wide problem.

In the United States

  • “About 8.5 percent of U.S. non-incarcerated adults have a history of TBI, and about 2 percent of the greater population is currently suffering from some sort of disability because of their injury. In prisons, however, approximately 60 percent of adults have had at least one TBI—and even higher prevalence has been reported in some systems. These injuries, which can alter behavior, emotion and impulse control, can keep prisoners behind bars longer and increases the odds they will end up there again. Although the majority of people who suffer a TBI will not end up in the criminal justice system, each one who does costs states an average of $29,000 a year.” (source: Scientific American, February 4, 2012)

In Canada

  • Preliminary results from a study on homelessness in Toronto have shown that 53% of homeless report a history of traumatic brain injury, 72% of which occur prior to being homeless.
  • Research shows that, of 235 provincial prison inmates interviewed, 44% reported a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Brain Injury and Homelessness

Brain Injury and Incarceration

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