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Link found between inmate brain injuries and offending

Posted in: Criminal Injury and Assault Personal Injury 

Researchers have called for more to be done to raise awareness within the criminal justice system of how brain injuries and offending can often be related. Recent reports have found that the level of brain injuries among offenders in custody is far higher than the general population.

Research conducted by Tom McMillan, professor of clinical neuropsychology at the University of Glasgow, said that his study, which looked at three prisons in Glasgow, found 23% of prisoners to have suffered a head injury in their life, 50% of which were classified as severe. 

“There is a pool of unmet need of people”

A report by Professor Hugh Williams, from the Centre for Clinical Neuropsychology Research at the University of Exeter, said that despite these findings, it is rare for criminal justice professionals to consider this during a trail. He suggests that more should be done to raise awareness of the problem throughout the criminal justice service, as well as other related areas such as health, education and social care.

Dr Oliver Aldridge, a committee member of penal reform charity Howard League Scotland, said:

I think there is a pool of unmet need of people with very, very significant head injury that we could serve better if we could have an outreach and a service going into criminal justice facilities.”

MPs on Holyrood’s Justice Committee are taking evidence and advice from a panel of academics and doctors on the matter.

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