Inaugural CJABIG Conference will take place on 5th July 2012, hosted by St Andrews Healthcare , Northampton.
For more information please go to our Conference & Seminars page
“Can you help? My 17 year old son has just been arrested….”
These were the opening words to our helpline from a distraught parent. Her son has an ABI which left him with balance issues and a quite sever speech impediment. He had been waiting for her outside a local shop, when a Police officer noticed his swaying gait; the Officer then questioned the young lad and of course when he spoke, his speech was badly slurred. The Officer could only conclude one thing – the lad was “under the influence of some substance or another”, and so he was cautioned and arrested.
We also know that because of the hidden elements of acquired brain injury, many young offenders face rough justice because their unique differing needs and difficulties are not diagnosed, not understood or not taken in to account when preparing cases and considering sentencing.
The Child Brain Injury Trust have been focussing on this issue for a number of years, and when Proffessor Huw Williams research
Self-Reported Traumatic Brain Injury in Male Young Offenders:
Was published in October 2010, we felt that the issues surrounding rehabilitation of both offending behaviour and rehabilitation of neurological issues faced by young people and adults affected by ABI needed to addressed.
The Child Brain Injury Trust initiated the setting up of the Criminal Justice and Acquired Brain Injury Interest Group (CJABIIG) in Autumn 2010, and the Group held its inaugural meeting on 14th January 2011.
CJABIIG has been set up as a consortium of representative groups raising awareness and working towards better support for offenders affected by acquired brain injury.
Recent UK and international research has shown an association between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and offending behaviour.
There are growing concerns over the unmet needs of offenders and those at risk of offending who have an acquired brain injury (ABI).
The specific neuropsychological problems and consequent needs of offenders with ABI within the Justice system are frequently unacknowledged or poorly understood and are thus being neglected.
Current support for this group of offenders may well be discriminatory as the right for appropriate interventions may ignored.
This can ultimately mean offenders spend longer in prison, and are more likely to re-offend. This makes for a less safe society and more distressed individuals.
The objective of the Criminal Justice System is to create a safer society (Green paper )by reducing custodial time/sentences and by reducing the number of children in the Youth Justice System.
The Criminal Justice and Acquired Brain Injury Interest Group (CJABIIG) believes that there is a need to review ways of diverting and maintaining resources into more appropriate offending rehabilitation systems for those with ABI.
To increase awareness of ABI amongst offenders and those at risk of offending (via media campaigns, publicity, distribution of outcomes of the group .
To identify how rehabilitation of offenders may take account of the specific needs associated with ABI (through training, awareness raising, partnership working, lobbying).
To explore how re-offending rates may be reduced by improved service provision for offenders and those at risk of offending who are affected by ABI (through early screening, intervention, education).
The initial key to achieving these aims would be to establish better links between ABI awareness and education/child services, thus using preventative measures rather reacting once offenders have entered the Criminal Justice System.
This includes improved access to assessment and support of children affected by childhood acquired brain injury, and improved considerations of orders that magistrates and judges can use.
For full details of the Organisations that are working in Partnership on CJABIIG please click here
The date of our next meeting is 31st May 2012. If you would like to submit any Agenda items for this meeting contact email@example.com
To view the latest CJABIIG Minutes please click the following links:
This paper examines the research evidence for an association between ABI and subsequent, sometimes violent, offending. While problems people may experience with thinking and behaviour the result of their ABI place them at the highest risk of re-offending and re-incarceration, the disability receives low recognition throughout the criminal justice system.
To find out more about CJABIIG and the work they are doing please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01869 341075.