Course Title: CE 12: Traumatic Brain Injury in Criminal Justice: (Hard) Lessons from Colorado (Gorgens)


Credit Hours: 1.5


Instructor(s) Kim Gorgens


Kim Gorgens, PhD Professor of Psychophysiology and Clinical Neuropsychology University of Denver
CE Workshop # 12: Traumatic Brain Injury in Criminal Justice: (Hard) Lessons from Colorado
Abstract & Learning Objectives: The incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) history in an incarcerated population is reported to range from 41-51% to 60.25% to as high as 82%. Adults as well as adolescents with TBI histories report higher rates of incarceration compared to their non-TBI history counterparts and studies suggest that inmates with TBI have a higher rate of disciplinary actions while incarcerated. Furthermore, research suggests that individuals with a TBI history recidivate, i.e., are rearrested following a discharge from jail or corrections, sooner and more often than those persons without a TBI. In addition to discussing data from adult and youth correctional, court and treatment facilities, this presentation will describe a collaboration between the State of Colorado brain injury program, the Colorado Judicial Department and the University of Denver to address these issues. Thus, this presentation will outline our model designed to identify brain injury history, assess cognitive functioning and psychosocial vulnerabilities and to make recommendations and referrals that support the individual through (and out of) the system. This model, first implemented in Colorado, has been exported to seven other states with federal policy in progress. Upon conclusion of this course, learners will be able to:
  • List the prevalence of brain injury in the adult and juvenile justice system
  • Describe a model being implemented in Colorado to identify and support individuals with brain injury
  • Discuss 6-year outcomes from this statewide project
Speaker Biography: Dr. Kim Gorgens is a Professor of Psychophysiology and Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Denver. She manages a large portfolio of brain-related research and has lectured extensively on those issues (including her 2010 TED talk on youth sports concussion, a 2018 TED talk on brain injuries in criminal justice, several NPR spots and an interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper). Her work has been featured in USNews, Newsweek, Salon.com and more. She is the principal-investigator and clinical supervisor for the work presented in this session. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology and is board certified in Rehabilitation Psychology. She is a fellow of APA Division 22, a 20+ year member of APA Division 40 and is Vice President of the American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology. View Dr. Gorgens's TEDx Talk Kim Gorgens | TEDxMileHigh: The Surprising Connection Between Brain Injuries and Crime