Brain Awareness Week news: Young offenders 'at risk' of brain injury

Offenders of a young age are more likely to suffer from brain injury than other members of society, it has been found.

Research carried out by a team at the University of Exeter found almost half of the 197 male respondents - who had all been in trouble with the law because of their behaviour - had experienced a childhood brain injury, the BBC reports.

This amount is three times higher than that recorded for non-offenders and the investigators made an association between multiple head injuries and more violent crimes.

Chartered Psychologist Dr Huw Williams, an Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Exeter and Chair of the British Psychological Society's Division of Neuropsychology, said on BBC Radio 4's All in the Mind that the connections are very problematic.

He noted: "It may not be causal in the sense of increasing the chances of crime, but it may well be a factor in terms of re-offending."

This week is Brain Awareness Week and the Society has a cross-divisional working party investigating the role of brain injury in offending behaviour.