Category: Brain Injury; Military and Veterans Affairs
Objective : Examine rates of criminal arrest in Veterans and Military Personnel (V/MP) with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) prior to TBI and 1-10 years post TBI.
Design : Longitudinal cohort design.
Setting : Five Veteran Affairs Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers (VA PRC).
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : Participants enrolled in the VA PRC TBI Model Systems study and completed a follow up assessment at 1, 2, 5, or 10 years post-TBI (N= 948).
Interventions : Not applicable.
Main Outcome Measure(s) : Reported arrests and incarceration history, pre- and post-TBI.
Results : A total of 396 (39%) V/MP reported a history of arrest (n=54, 5% felony) prior to being hospitalized for TBI rehabilitation. Post-TBI, 65 (6%) V/MP reported being arrested or were incarcerated during a follow up assessment. Participants arrested post-TBI were primarily male (94%) with a median age of 29 years (IQR=23.5-38.5) and sustained a mild (31%), moderate (12%) or severe (39%) TBI (15% unknown) based on Emergency Department Glasgow Coma Score. Participants sustained a median of 2 additional lifetime TBIs prior to their index TBI (range=0-7). Of those with post-TBI arrests, 46% were previously arrested prior to their index TBI.
Conclusions : The pre-TBI arrest rate in this sample was comparable to the arrest rate in the United States general population (30%; Barnes et al., 2014). The post-TBI arrest rates in this sample were also comparable to the 6-12% of civilians with TBI who reported being arrested post-TBI (Elbogen et al., 2015). Findings suggest that V/MP with TBI are not at an increased risk for arrest and incarceration compared to their civilian counterparts.
Elizabeth Gavin– Clinical Psychology Resident, James A Haley Veterans' Hospital, Tampa, Florida
Shannon Miles– Clinical Research Psychologist, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, Tampa, Florida
Marc Silva– Neuropsychologist, James A Haley VA Hospital, Tampa, Florida
John Corrigan– Professor, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Dawn Neumann– Associate Professor, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana
Blessen Eapen– Chief, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, Los Angeles, California
Christina Dillahunt-Aspillaga– Associate Professor; Research Affiliate, USF - RMHC, Veterans Affairs, James A. Haley Hospital Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center, Tampa, Florida
Risa Nakase-Richardson– Neuropsychologist, Professor, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital / University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida