We just wanted to share some information about a recent webinar conducted by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Federal Traumatic Brain Injury program on Dec. 13, 2011. The webinar focused on the growing problems associated with Children and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the Juvenile Justice System.
The overall goals of the webinar were to
- Develop an understanding of the issues experienced by juveniles with TBI, including under-identification, symptoms, limited access to treatment, and recidivism;
- Become acquainted with approaches to identification and treatment, including the critical role of partnerships; and
- Review preliminary data showing impact of interventions and consider next steps.
To provide some context for the webinar topic, it is a response to the growing understanding that traumatic brain injury is a rapidly rising problem. Federal authorities do not know just how large the issue of TBI. Some estimates available from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control show that “approximately 1.4 million people receive traumatic brain injuries every year. Of children 0-14 years old, TBI results in 435,000 trips to the emergency room annually, 37,000 hospitalizations, and nearly 2,700 deaths.” And one area where children are the most vulnerable is in the juvenile justice system where it is estimated that 15 percent to 90 percent of incarcerated youth are affected by TBI.
But what exactly is TBI?
Well, The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) uses the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, definition.
“…an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psycho-social behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.” [34 Code of Federal Regulations §300.8(c)(12)]
So why is it important that TBI is discussed?
The Justice Policy Institute finds that “youth who have experienced trauma may be more likely to be involved in illegal behavior for a variety of reasons, including the neurological, psychological and social effects of trauma.” So, that is just one of many reasons why it is so important that these children are identified and given the appropriate care.
But to learn more about TBI, the HRSA Federal TBI Program, and to watch the webinar yourself, please visit the Traumatic Brain Injury Collaboration Space-TBICS.
Filed under: Mental Health, Public Awareness, Research, Trauma, Uncategorized | Tagged: child trauma, children, disabilities, hrsa, justice policy institute, juvenile justice, trauma, Traumatic Brain Injury |