Traumatic brain injury: a potential cause of violent crime? [2018]

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the biggest cause of death and disability in children and young people. TBI compromises important neurological functions for self-regulation and social behaviour and increases risk of behavioural disorder and psychiatric morbidity. Crime in young people is a major social issue. So-called early starters often continue for a lifetime. A substantial majority of young offenders are reconvicted soon after release. Multiple factors play a role in crime. We show how TBI is a risk factor for earlier, more violent, offending. TBI is linked to poor engagement in treatment, in-custody infractions, and reconviction. Schemes to assess and manage TBI are under development. These might improve engagement of offenders in forensic psychotherapeutic rehabilitation and reduce crime.

W Huw Williams, PhD, Prathiba Chitsabesan, MD, Prof Seena Fazel, MD, Prof Tom McMillan, PhD, Prof Nathan Hughes, PhD, Michael Parsonage, MA, James Tonks, PhD

The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 5, Issue 10, October 01, 2018