Assessing the Behavior and Needs of Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Washington State Prisons
In partnership with the Traumatic Brain Injury Strategic Partnership Advisory Council, WSU researchers, Drs. Laurie Drapela and Faith Lutze, are assessing incarcerated Veterans of the United States Armed Forces within Washington state prisons to determine whether traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects an individual’s prison experience, and in turn, one’s chances of success upon release from prison. Recent research indicates that an estimated 16% of Washington State Department of Corrections (WADOC) incarcerated veterans have experienced a moderate or severe TBI compared to 7.6% of the general inmate population, yet little more is known about these veterans and how they experience prison (Phillips, 2013). WSU researchers are examining individuals’ institutional behaviors, uses of medical services, and abilities to participate in offender change programs geared toward increasing prosocial behavior and reducing recidivism. This research will provide a foundation from which to build effective policy and evidence-based practice through a better understanding of incarcerated veterans with a TBI.