Recent findings in neuroscience have showed how a difficult childhood could adversely affect brain development, and may even increase a person’s risk of committing crimes as a teen. New studies have explored how the brain’s development is affected by positive or negative experiences during childhood, indicating that a difficult or traumatic childhood could alter how …
Recent findings in neuroscience have showed how a difficult childhood could adversely affect brain development, and may even increase a person’s risk of committing crimes as a teen. New studies have explored how the brain’s development is affected by positive or negative experiences during childhood, indicating that a difficult or traumatic childhood could alter how the brain develops and may affect certain functions. For example, an individual who was abused as a child may be more likely to take impulsive risks and may have an increased risk of behavioral issues and mental health problems. In response to these findings, experts are urging the legal system to take into consideration how the brain develops in the midst of a difficult childhood. This new study will be presented as part of the Neuroscience, Children and the Law seminar by the Economic and Social Research Council.
Brain Injury May Lead to Violent Crimes
The most recent research concerning neuroscience discoveries and their potential impact on criminal law was led by Dr. Eamon McCrory from the University College London. Previous research from Seena Fazel, M.D. of Oxford University has suggested that traumatic brain injury, either from abuse or an accident, greatly increases a person’s risk of being involved in a violent crime. Additional research, led by Dr. Huw Williams, PhD, from the University of Exeter, complements Dr. Fazel’s findings. According to Dr. Williams’ study, nearly 45% of young criminal offenders had suffered from a traumatic brain injury, and more brain injuries were associated with more violent crimes.
Abnormal Brain Development Can Cause Behavioral Problems
In light of these revealing studies, researchers believe that young individuals who commit crimes may be predisposed to do so because of a brain injury or because of other circumstances. Research suggests that young offenders may have experienced a difficult childhood or may come from families that are economically or socially disadvantaged. These factors could increase the risk of brain injury, possibly due to abuse, thereby putting the brain at risk of abnormal development and causing problems at school or in society.
Contact an Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney Today
By highlighting recent studies examining how the brain may develop differently when exposed to injury, abuse or a traumatic childhood, researchers hope to encourage authorities to work more closely with neurosurgeons to take into account possible brain injury. While researchers have noted that there is more to criminal behavior than one risk factor, being able to identify brain injury or impaired brain development early on can lead to better treatment options. Early intervention could also reduce the risk of criminal behavior and the cost of imprisonment. If your teen is facing criminal charges in Oklahoma, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center today. Our law firm is located in Oklahoma City, and our criminal defense lawyers have years of experience helping offenders protect their legal rights and build a strong defense.