BIAPA to Screen for Brain Injury in Pennsylvania State Prisons

The Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania (BIAPA) in partnership with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC), will be working on a 5-year federal grant from the National Institutes of Justice (NIJ) to implement a randomized clinical research trial to determine if a case management intervention called NeuroResource Facilitation (NRF) is effective in reducing recidivism, which is a return to criminal activity after an offender has served their time and been released. BIAPA conducted a brief demonstration project several years ago pioneering this approach at the State Correctional Institution at Graterford, which showed promising results. Since that time, the BIAPA, at the urging of the DOC, has been seeking other grant opportunities to conduct a full-scale research project to prove that NeuroResource Facilitation can reduce recidivism.

In this new project, BIAPA will screen offenders who have served their time and are about to be released, for a lifetime history of brain injury, provide them with brain injury education and connect them with brain injury resources as they re-enter the community. The study design will follow ex-offenders from four state correctional institutions who receive this specialized approach as well as those who do not, and it will compare their outcomes over three years. We will be looking at their productive work activities, and their engagement with brain injury services and community supports. The goal of the project is to develop best practices for programming at the institutional and community level for working with offenders who have brain injury.