As a charity who are actively involved in raising awareness of the link between brain injury and youth offending we were pleased to hear the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling’s speech yesterday.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling mentioned the important statistics relating to brain injury and youth offending in a passage outlining the needs of young people in custody. Mr Grayling said:

“Astonishingly, it’s far more likely than not that if you’re a young person in custody you will have experienced a traumatic brain injury. Somewhere between 65 and 70%”

You can view the whole speech here:

This statement was not news to us here at the Child Brain Injury Trust. We have been working with professionals from youth offending services to raise awareness of the issues for the last four years, and to help support these young people. So far we have trained almost 1,000 practitioners in the area, with almost no funding.Our Training Manager, Louise Wilkinson, even received the UKABIF award for Inspiration in 2012 for her awareness raising work on behalf of young offenders affected by acquired brain injury.

We are co-founders of the cross representative Criminal Justice and Acquired Brain Injury Interest Group formed in October 2010, and are delighted that the issues we have known about for some time are at least being highlighted in parliament – but we still have a long way to go to really support this group of vulnerable people.

If you would like to hear more about our youth offending work, then please feel free to contact Louise Wilkinson.