As part of Brain Injury Awareness Week (BIAW) the Brain Injury Network of SA Inc (BINSA) will hold three separate sessions on its national theme for 2011: ABI in the Criminal Justice System tomorrow (Tuesday 16 August).
The sessions will target professionals in the legal, judiciary, police, insurance, rehabilitation and education professions with the aim of improving understanding of ABI and criminal behaviour.
A number of panellists including Judge David Lovell of the District Court, Trish Johnson of the Legal Services Commission, Lesley Stuart of Correctional Services and Kelly McNamara of the Magistrates Courts Diversion Program, will discuss their experiences when administering the law or representing those who offend.
Key questions will cover why an ABI might cause criminal behaviour; how to deal with those who offend; and how to make use of the law to safeguard vulnerable people.
A forensic psychologist will also present his recent research based on empirical evidence that suggests damage to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain is associated with an increase in the potential for aggressive and violent and criminal behaviour.
The sessions will also cover the impact of ABI on students, and ways educationalists and health professionals can better integrate children and adolescents with an ABI into education or alternative programs.
It is estimated that there are 6000 new cases in Australia annually admitted to hospital with traumatic brain injury (including stroke).