Brain Injuries In Offenders

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The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is located in the frontal lobes of the brain and is “the central executive for emotion and social control” (Sieb, 2013, p. 122). Damage to this area can lead to impulsivity, aggression, and antisocial behavior. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is a region of the brain responsible for decision making, empathy, impulse control, and emotion regulation, thus making it a key area for regulating violent behavior (Kumari, et al., 2014). “The ACC (area 25) is the frontal part of the cingulate cortex and is a distinct cytoarchitectural and functional region of the prefrontal cortex” (Sieb, 2013, p. 124). According to a study done by Kumari, et al. (2014), “violent, mentally disordered individuals with antisocial personality…show more content…
The researchers sought to discover whether brain pathology is more prevalent in high-security offenders more so than non-criminal individuals. These studies indicated that offenders tend to have a higher proportion of abnormal brain regions than non-criminals. The researchers found that violent offenders have a higher prevalence of severe traumatic brain injury, including loss of consciousness. Correspondingly, this accounts for the finding of more abnormalities and signs of brain injury in violent offenders than in nonviolent offenders and controls. Schiltz, Witzel, Bausch-Holterhoff, and Bogerts (2013) noted that individuals with prefrontal lobe damage exhibit antisocial behavior and have diminished control of social behavior. Schiltz et al. (2013) used computerized tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at the brains of violence offenders in search of abnormalities that could account for their behavior. The researchers found that violent offenders had significantly more abnormalities in brain regions than both non-violent offenders and the controls (nonoffenders). It was also varified that dysfunctional termporal cortices can lead to violent behavior. With psychopathic offenders, anomalies were uncovered in the posterior cingulate cortex (Schiltz, et al., 2013). A decrease in activity in the ACC and prefrontal corext along with an increase in activity in the…show more content…
However, high risk violent offenders do not show consistent improvement. CBT may fail to work with the high risk offenders because of low willingness to change, comorbid psychological disorders, or insufficient treatment (Howells, 2009). Also, there is a high number of offenders with antisocial personality disorder (APD). Howells (2009) explained that anger management programs may need to be longer in order to be effective with the APD population. Similarly, the impulsivity and low compliance that accompanies many with APD may account for the offenders’ low willingness to change. This too can impair treatment

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