The Indiana Department of Correction has been awarded $1 million from the Department of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services Administration. IDOC will use the money to screen inmates who are close to being released from prison for traumatic brain injuries and assist with treatment and support services. September 25, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A four-year, nearly $1 million federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services Administration has been awarded to the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) to screen and provide treatment and services to better assist people released from the IDOC who have Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)-related problems as they re-enter their communities.
Community Solutions (www.communitysolutionsinc.net) will serve as a partner on the multi-year project in conjunction with the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI), Public Advocates in Community re-Entry (PACE),The Brain Injury Association of Indiana (BIAI) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR).
An analysis conducted by researchers at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute (PPI) of baseline TBI screening data, collected in fall 2012 by the IDOC, suggests that nearly 36 percent of offenders in Indiana facilities report some form of TBI during their lifetime. Of statistical significance is the suggestion that the proportion of offenders with a psychiatric disorder is about 2.2 times higher among those with TBI than those with no TBI.
The grant will consist of $241,630 in the first year to gather data as well as educate and train correctional staff across the system. Subsequently, nearly $250,000 may be awarded yearly through 2017 for implementation and program evaluation. The project will be spearheaded by Frances Osburn, Superintendent of Edinburgh Correctional Facility; Lance E. Trexler, PhD, Director, Department of Rehabilitation Neuropsychology, Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana; and Lena Hackett, Founder and President of Community Solutions, Inc.
“We are fortunate to have Dr. Trexler, the creator of the Resource Facilitation model for TBI that is being used across the country, based here in Indiana and look forward to collaborating with the IDOC, RHI, PACE, BIAI and AIR to help reduce the burden offenders dealing with TBI face in order to decrease repeat criminal offenses,” said Hackett.
As only the second state in the country to pilot this type of resource facilitation program, the project will begin with educating correctional staff across the Indiana justice systems on TBI – how to recognize it, resources available as well as educating primary health care providers in the community who may not have much exposure to either this population or TBI. Subsequently, as inmates are transferred from prison to parole supervision or Community Corrections in Marion and Allen Counties, the officer in charge of their case will screen the offender for a TBI.
If it is determined the offender has a moderate to severe TBI they will be offered the opportunity to engage with Resource Facilitation to coordinate the clinical and support services they need to manage their TBI. AIR will be evaluating those who receive services in order to determine if they avoid return to incarceration, find employment and experience improved functionality as a result of the services and treatments they have received.
The research is significant, demonstrating that in order to offer these people a chance at successful re-entry into the community and also enhance public safety, it is imperative for criminal justice and health care professionals to collaborate to screen, identify and provide treatment to those with TBI upon their release in an effort to minimize the risk of re-offending and ultimately help to lower the state’s incarceration costs.
Source: Indiana Department of Correction