Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Prof Seena Fazel at the University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry, and co-authors, recently published a paper in The Lancet Psychiatry highlighting the high proportion of prison inmates having suffered previous head injuries. The Telegraph reports.

Prison inmate

Extract from report in The Telegraph by Sarah Knapton

'More than half of criminals may have suffered a head injury which could be fuelling their offending, a new review by British brain experts suggests.

It does seem to matter where the injury occurred. Frontal injuries appear to have more impact on aggression. One of the consquences of head injury is attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and studies have shown that treatment for ADHD leads to a reduction in criminality and that's down to reduced aggression. So treating symptoms like that could help. - Professor Seena Fazel

Specialists from the universities of Oxford, Exeter, Manchester, Glasgow and Sheffield, and the Centre for Mental Health, are calling for all prisoners to be routinely checked for signs of traumatic brain injuries.

A comprehensive review, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, suggests that bumps to the head from falls, assaults or road accidents can lead to neural injuries which alter the brain structure, and increase the risk of violence offending.

The authors claim that up to 60 per cent of people in custody have suffered some kind of head injury in the past, ranging from mild to severe.

In contrast, around one in 200 people in the general public have been admitted to hospital for a head injury according to the charity Headway.

The majority of prisoners had suffered some kind of head injury, the review found

The experts say helping prisoners receive proper treatment could prevent future offending and called on schools, doctors and hospitals to help identify youngsters who have suffered head injuries before they commit crime.'

Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph.

Read more about the work of Prof Seena Fazel.