TBI and the Criminal Justice System: Intersectionality and TBI among Marginalized and Underserved Communities
Traumatic Brain Injury is highly prevalent among those in the criminal justice system (CJS) for both youth and adults as TBI is a risk factor for initial criminal involvement as well as recidivism. Despite this, there is no routine screening for TBI in the CJS. Further, this prevalence is a reflection of a larger picture of intersectionality and the larger systemic issue of TBI among underserved and marginalized communities. This presentation will describe the prevalence of TBI and other neurodisabilities in the CJS within the context of the Model of Intersectionality and TBI (Wiseman-Hakes, Hardin & Albin, in press). Participants will gain an understanding of the broad and diverse cognitive, communication, emotional and behavioural changes following TBI and how these challenges can negatively impact the person’s ability to access fair and just participation in criminal legal proceedings. Participants will further understand how these challenges are misinterpreted as defiance, rudeness, disengagement, substance use or non-compliance in the context of the criminal justice system. Recommendations for a rehabilitative vs punitive approach as well as broader societal implications for policy and funding will be discussed.