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Correlation between Brain Injury and Criminal Behavior

            Many people believe that criminal offenders are born delinquent. Another belief is that parental control of offenders has been lacking and that many offenders learn their criminal behavior early on in life. While some of these beliefs may stand true, it is not always the case; as a matter of fact, it is hardly the case. Furthermore, "shaken baby syndrome- has set an alarm across the entire world because of its affect on a newborn child - retardation and even death. But what if that baby was only shaken once and the baby seemed normal? What if that "normal child- was now going to be a criminal for the rest of its life due to an undetected brain injury? What if you hit your head on that darn freezer door, and you didn't know that tomorrow you were going to go out and steal a car? Head injuries happen at all ages in life and they can have severe outcomes - especially if they are left untreated for various reasons. There are some speculations as to why head injuries promote criminal behavior and they all link to the same focal point of the brain - the frontal lobe. Head injuries, regardless of age, can affect a person greatly in how they react and think in everyday life situations because of the cognitive impairments that may exist; also, because of the frustration that may arise, criminal behavior seems to be the most probable outcome if damage is extensive and left untreated. In a recent study done by José Leon-Carrion and Francisco Javier Chacartegui Ramos (2003), they took a look at the rate at which violent and non-violent prison inmates had a history of head injuries. It has been found that head injuries that result in brain damage "can be extremely damaging to a person's memory, speech, coordination, personality, and motor movement- (Michael Sarapata, Douglas Herrmann, Tome Johnson and Rose Aycock, 1998, p821). Due to the possible magnitude of these losses, it is highly likely that, because the person is unable to function properly in their day-to-day activities, frustration levels and aggressiveness may arise in turn leading them farther and farther into the legal system.

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