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Traumatic brain injury and mental health outcomes among recently incarcerated men

NCJ Number
Journal of Traumatic Stress Volume: Online Dated: 2023
Date Published

This article describes a study that used data from the LoneStar Project and had the goal of understanding the variety of mental-health issues that receiving a traumatic brain injury has on an individual’s ability to successfully reintegrate back into society following incarceration.


This paper reports on a study that examined the association between experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) before or during incarceration and several post-release negative mental health consequences in a cohort of men recently released from prison. The goal of the study was to explicate the variety of mental health-related issues that receiving a TBI has on one's ability to successfully reintegrate back into society following incarceration. Using data from the LoneStar Project, the authors used ordinary least squares regression and logistic regression to assess the prevalence of depressive symptoms, stress, trauma flashbacks, and psychosis in a representative sample of men released from Texas prisons, approximately nine months post-prison release. Results indicated that recently released men with a history of head injury exhibited higher levels of depression, stress, experiencing trauma-related flashbacks, and psychosis, compared to their non-head-injured counterparts. The authors conclude that TBIs—whether sustained before or during incarceration—pose significant risks for adverse mental health outcomes, particularly for recently released individuals during the already challenging and strained period of reintegration. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2023