“What were they thinking?” new report on brain and behaviour in the justice system

We strongly welcome Professor Ian Lambie’s report out today titled, “What were they thinking?”. Ian is the Chief Science Advisor to the Justice sector and this latest report is the fourth in a series he has written. Today’s report focusses on ‘brain and behaviour’ and covers the range of issues all too often faced by people involved in the justice system.

His report can be viewed and downloaded here (more information below) and we would encourage people to do so. It is readable with many case examples, practical suggestions for practitioners and references to follow up. NZ research involving speech-language therapists and others is described.

This report outlines the realities that are experienced daily by the people we work with. Our work exists because there are so many people dealing with various issues that impact on their engagement, participation in and understanding of the justice system, and often many complex issues are faced by the same individuals. We agree that much earlier recognition of issues with appropriate supports then put in is the approach required.

Several media interviews took place involving our team members today and links to those are below:

Radio New Zealand interview


TV1 Breakfast




What were they thinking? A discussion paper on brain and behaviour in relation to the justice system in New Zealand is the fourth in a series of reports. It presents strong evidence of the over-representation of people in the criminal justice system who have had brain injuries, shedding new light on the impact of such injuries and developmental differences on both victims and offenders. The report was written by the Chief Scientist for the Justice Sector, Professor Ian Lambie.

Other reports in this series:

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