The Lasting Impact of Brain Injury

by Drew Nagele, MJ Schmidt, and Monica Vaccaro
From PHN Issue 21, Summer 2014

Each year, there are 2.5 million new traumatic brain injuries in the United States. In fact, it is estimated that 13.5 million people—or 4.5% of the population—are living with some type of acquired brain injury.
The number of people who are living with a brain injury in prisons is far greater than we would expect, and most of these injuries were never diagnosed or treated. Recent research suggests that about 60% of people in prison have had an acquired brain injury sometime in their life, most often prior to becoming incarcerated. This is important, because the problems that result from a brain injury make almost all aspects of life harder. Brain injury can make a person more likely to make poor decisions, increasing their risk for getting in trouble with the law and decreasing their likelihood of being successful in everyday life. The effects of brain injuries also can make it harder for a person to succeed in prison education programs or to meet parole conditions.

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Long-term Pain and Medical Neglect

by Chasity Williams

Edited by Warren Lane

From PHN Issue 21, Summer 2014

   I am writing to you because your newsletter has inspired me, and I’m hoping that you might submit my story. I’m currently at SCI Muncy in Pennsylvania and have been for two years for violating pre-release by leaving a DOC (Department of Corrections) halfway house (due to being sexually harassed by a staff member). Since I’ve been back at SCI Muncy, I’ve been fighting the medical department for proper treatment for chronic pain. I suffer from degenerative disc disease and severe sciatica from a work injury. I’ve been disabled since May of 2005, receiving benefits for my child and myself through the federal government. My main issue is pain relief and pain management, and I’ve been denied that here. I do want everyone to know that I became addicted to the drug called Oxycodone. However, that was ten years ago and I am no longer that person. Continue reading “Long-term Pain and Medical Neglect”