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Prison Brain Injury Study Sheds More Light on Head Injury Cases

Despite the growing base of knowledge doctors and researchers are building on the problem of head injuries and traumatic brain injury (TBI), there is still a lot we don’t know.  For this reason, any new study that is being performed has the potential to include some major breakthroughs.  Even if they intimately fall short of reshaping the treatment paradigm, they may still yield very important results.

brainsAccording to a recent news feature from VICE, a prison brought in a brain injury expert to conduct studies and find out what research can be learned from the inmate population and see what can be done to help them during the rehabilitation process for those who will eventually be released from the prison system.

One inmate interviewed as part of this study that for most of his 30 years behind bars, has chosen to live by a simple code: “The less I say, the better I play.”  By this, he means, that the more he keeps to himself and keeps quiet, the safer he is and more he gets along with other inmates.  However, this seemingly simple lesson did not come so easy for the inmate who was not used to backing down to others before coming to this prison.

At first he would get into fights with other inmates, and, in 2001, another inmate hit him on the head with a metal pipe.  This sent him to the infirmary after he suffered a TBI.  Now at age 56, he has trouble talking and thinking as a result of the head injury.  He can no longer interact with other inmates. When he tried to play cards in the rec room, he would have trouble making moves, and, when he lost, he would get angry because he couldn’t understand why.  Once other’s learned he had a brain injury, they would use it against him to cheat him out of money and take advantage of him in other ways.  This is why he now keeps mostly to himself, so he can stay safe and stay out of trouble with other inmates.  This prison gave him Paxil, and he said that slowed him down even more, so the inmates would take advantage of him even more.

One of things people may not understand is that long after the physical injury has healed, a head injury can leave behind a lasting trauma that can have a devastating effect on the victim, his or her family, even those around the victim.  While the prison setting might be an ideal research setting for head injury case, as the study found many, it is certainly not the ideal treatment setting.  When a person suffers from a TBI, as a Boston personal injury lawyer can explain, it can cost a lot of money in treatment and rehabilitation.  It may also be necessary for certain family members to quit their jobs to take care of the victim full time if they cannot afford a 24-hour in home care or do not want to put their loved on in a group home.   When determining damages in a personal injury lawsuit, these are all factors to consider.

If you have suffered personal injury in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

What Happened When a Prison Brought in a Brain Injury Specialist, November 24, 2016, By Nick Keppler, VICE

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