Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to cognitive, behavioural and social impairments. The relationship between criminality and a history of TBI has been addressed on several occasions.
The objective of this review was to present an update on current knowledge concerning the existence of a history of TBI in prison populations.
PubMed and PsycINFO databases were searched for relevant papers, using the PRISMA guidelines. We selected papers describing TBI prevalence among incarcerated individuals and some that also discussed the validity of such studies.
Thirty-three papers were selected. The majority of the papers were on prison populations in Australia (3/33), Europe (5/33) and the USA (22/33). The selected studies found prevalence rates of the history of TBI ranging from 9.7% and 100%, with an average of 46% (calculated on a total population of 9342). However, the level of evidence provided by the literature was poor according to the French national health authority scale. The majority of the prisoners were males with an average age of 37. In most of the papers (25/33), prevalence was evaluated using a questionnaire. The influence of TBI severity on criminality could not be analysed because of a lack of data in the majority of papers. Twelve papers mentioned that several comorbidities (mental health problems, use of alcohol…) were frequently found among prisoners with a history of TBI. Two papers established the validity of the use of questionnaires to screen for a history of TBI.
These results confirmed the high prevalence of a history of TBI in prison populations. However, they do not allow conclusions to be drawn about a possible link between criminality and TBI. Specific surveys need to be performed to study this issue. The authors suggest ways of improving the screening and healthcare made available to these patients.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Traumatic brain injury, Epilepsy, Prison, Prisoner, Neuropsychology