05 November 2010
“Compared with population rates, a disproportionately high number of offenders with ADHD are being dealt with by the UK Criminal Justice System; for example, 45% of youth offenders and up to 30% of adult offenders.”
Alarming statistics from a recent paper published by Dr Susan Young, Consultant Clinical and Forensic Psychologist at Broadmoor Hospital, West London Mental Health Trust, reveal the true extent of untreated ADHD as an underlying cause of crime.
In the ground-breaking paper, Dr Young not only explores the connection between ADHD and criminal offending, but also provides insight into the treatment of ADHD offenders and how this could reduce crime. She also looks at how early intervention has the potential to divert youths away from a criminal path.
The paper was published in the October 2010 edition of ‘Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics’, an international monthly journal that provides expert commentary on the use of drugs and medicines in clinical neurology and neuropsychiatry. The paper, co-written by Emily Goodwin, King’s College London and Institute of Psychiatry, is descriptively titled ‘Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in persistent criminal offenders: the need for specialist treatment programs’.
Dr Young said, “Failure to recognize and treat ADHD offenders is likely to have serious consequences for mental health and social outcomes. The high rates of ADHD among this group, the consumption and costs of the resources they incur, mean that it is not a condition we can afford to ignore. Given that ADHD is a treatable condition with interventions available that are used to effectively treat ADHD symptoms and related behavioral problems in the general population, the enormity of this problem and its associated costs are too great to bear”.