Is there an argument to be made that our poor healthcare system and our huge prison population are linked?
It’s an interesting answer overall, but here’s the bit that got me thinking about the no-doctor-to-prison pipeline (as a man who has had countless untreated concussions, back in the helmetless 80s and 90s—injuries that my docs have opined probably contributed to the clinical anxiety and depression that started to crush me in my middle age):
Recent studies have estimated 25–87% of prison inmates suffered some sort of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in their life and indicated associations between TBIs and criminal-like behaviour. TBI-related problems can complicate their management and treatment. They can experience mental health problems such as severe depression, anxiety, anger control issues, self-restraint, alcohol and substance abuse.
This makes it difficult for them to respond to disciplinary action in prison, to understand and remember rules, and anger issues can get them in dangerous incidents with other inmates. They also have a higher rate of recidivism.
The spirit of the law is that responsibility for a crime is reduced when a defendant’s cognitive ability is compromised by illness or injury.