Episode 135 - Chris Veeh: Traumatic Brain Injury and Incarcerated Youths: A Role for Social Work

Monday, January 20, 2014, 9:52:51 AM

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In this episode, Chris Veeh discusses how early life head trauma can play a role in behavior that leads to incarceration. He also suggests that the number of incarcerated youth with traumatic brain injury (TBI) is significant. Tools to screen and assess for TBI history in adolescents as well as evidence-based interventions that the social work practitioner can employ are identified.

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Average Rating: 4.7 stars (3 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 5stars  review: tbi and incarcerated youth, Monday, February 03, 2014

By Brenna Vermilyea :

This podcast was very interesting and informative. The initial portion involving a description of traumatic brain injury was helpful in understanding the overall content of the podcast, and it was also interesting to learn that the severity of TBI is categorized by the length of unconsciousness that the person experiences. The fact that almost twenty percent of incarcerated youth report experiencing a moderate to severe TBI really supports this idea. All of the relationships between one's level of self-control, impulsiveness, and planning ability seem to make a lot of sense. It is good that validated assessment tools have been created and that there are evidence-based practices being initiated. Hopefully, more research will continue to be conducted on this topic. The idea that social workers may want to consider reaching out to other disciplines seems to be very important. This whole concept is a very good example of why it is necessary to contemplate the role of a medical model or explanation, as many aspects of social work are often grounded in theory. This research will hopefully continue and lead to ways of helping youth with TBIs before they reach the point of incarceration. Excellent podcast!

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Average Rating: 5stars  review - tbi and incarcerated youth, Friday, January 31, 2014

By Dave Edgar :

I am reviewing this Podcast because I just started working with a youth who has suffered a traumatic brain injury, and has had numerous encounters with the criminal justice system.
While reviewing assessments of youth involved in the criminal justice system,Veeh noticed a pattern: many of these individuals have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI), (blow to the head accompanied by a loss of consciousness) earlier in their lives.
His meta-analysis of the literature revealed that there was an association between TBI and youth incarceration rates. Ferrer (2011), found incarcerated youth were 3.38 times more likely to have experienced a TBI than non-incarcerated youth.
A weakness found in his research was that there was inconsistency in the tools used to measure TBI’s and most go unreported. He proposes screening for TBI’s with improved tools when assessing incarcerated youth. It is important to identify clients who has experienced a TBI, and how this affects your intervention choices.
TBI’s can cause behavioural abnormalities. They often affect emotional and cognitive processes, increasing the likelihood that an individual might engage in risky, aggressive, or impulsive behaviours associated with criminal activity. Social workers need to give consideration to their unique needs.
Veeh’s research also encourages the creation of bridges between the fields of social work and neuroscience. We might add educators in this discussion. Collaboration will facilitate more effective support for youth with TBI’s involved with the criminal justice system and possibly kids who engage in risky behaviour.
Veeh has made an important contribution by shedding light on the relationship between incarcerated youth an TBI’s. He interventions he recommends are well worth considering. I intend to incorporate them in my practice.

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Average Rating: 4stars  integrating neuroscience with universal tbi assessmts , Thursday, January 30, 2014

By Donna Wolfe :

Dear Chris Veeh- I am a prospective S.W. student that is interested in the neuroscience of the brain and how it can be measured for assessing TBI for a universal TBI assessment evaluation. Your work in reviewing the literature of incarcerated youth was quite informative. It seems that this is a population that has not been studied for inappropriate/illegal behaviors in a medical, neuroscience format before and is much needed. Especially knowing what we know about the brain so far, If we as social workers want to dig deep and ask the right medical questions to initiate a proper assessment tool, the reasons can be reliably assessed and the inappropriate/illegal behaviors managed and controlled rather than repeated with incarceration after incarceration. The positive affects can be increased in all aspects of a person's social life. ....Please continue your research because you have an interested prospective student in the MSW program at University at Buffalo. Thanks Donna Wolfe

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