22.05.2021

Domestic abuse head injuries prevalent among women in prison

The prevalence of head injury is estimated to be as high as 55% in women in prison and might be a risk factor for violent offending, but evidence is equivocal. The extent of persisting disability is unknown, making decisions about service needs difficult. The UN recognises vulnerabilities in women in prison, but does not include head injury. This study aimed to investigate relationships among head injury, comorbidities, disability, and offending in women in prison.

Researchers also found that violent criminal behaviour was three times more likely among women who had a history of significant head injury, while women who sustained such injuries generally had prison sentences that were three times longer. Two-thirds were found to have suffered repeated head injuries, and nearly all reported a history of abuse.

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