The research of Dorothy Lewis, MD has pointed to the neurological problems in the offender populations. Doctors Lewis and Pincus studied juvenile offenders and adults in the "Death Row" population noting a high prevalence of neurological symptoms, including brain injury. In a study by Seyed Assadi, MD et al, Neurological Soft Signs in Mentally Disordered Offenders, published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 19;4, Fall 2007, the authors once again found neurological soft signs in the offender population and that repeat offenders had a higher rate of neurological signs than single felony offenders. Dr. Assadi's study included a wider range of individuals involving people in all offense groups and consideration of the relationship of sensory integration, psychotic disorders, anxiety, mood disorders and substance abuse.
Studies of this type are important to furthering our understanding of criminal behavior and its treatment.While the studies to date have addressed individual's who have been caught as a result of criminal behavior, the limiting factor is that we don't get to assess individuals who have not been caught.Do they share the same characteristics? Do neurological problems result in flawed planning and inefficient actions which increase the likelihood of getting caught. Clearly, there is a higher prevalence of neurological problems within the offender population and an even higher rate of problems in repeat offenders and more seriously involved felons. Are we establishing an understanding of the neurobehavioral issues which cause serious criminality?