Commenting on new research highlighting the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury, the Centre's director Richard Garside said:
'This research adds to the growing body of evidence that blows to the head among young people can have long-term consequences. This includes unnecessary criminalisation.
'Research published last year by us, as part of our Justice Matters programme, found that serious head injuries are four times as common among young people in custody as among young people in the general population.
'We set up Justice Matters to inspire long-term systemic social change: a rethink of the entire configuration of policy and practice so that many current criminal justice responses are not required at all.
'Young people who have experienced a brain injury following a blow to the head can sometimes act in ways that bring them to the attention of the police and other criminal justice agencies. This should never justify their being criminalised.
'Young people with brain injury need health and welfare-based support, not criminalisation. Brain injuries and impairments among young people should never be treated as crime problems.'