. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Image: Young Conservatives, Frankie ‘Murdo’ Fraser and Malcolm ‘Milesian’ Briggs in 1963


[Once more, the writer is not responsible for the headline. The Editor (14) takes the credit]

I had copied this over a couple of days ago, but decided it wasn’t that interesting to post as a potential post – I couldn’t think of much to say about it! Except maybe, good research, and interesting findings. But the whole thing seemed like a detail thing, to inform sentencing, which is what this news item says. Hearing on GMS this morning the sensationalisation of it, the suggestion that they won’t jail people below the age of 25… And that it needs a public consultation?! It may have wider implications for the wider world, but I am sure the judiciary are not going to be rushing into anything, sentencing younger people doesn’t mean they won’t go to jail! Anyway:

Finding that brains do not fully mature until 25 to inform sentencing of young people

“The review findings confirm that the adolescent brain continues to develop into adulthood and does not reach full maturity until approximately 25-30 years of age.

The review, understood to be the first of its kind in the Scottish context, found that the areas of the brain governing emotion develop sooner than those which assist with cognitive abilities and self-control. This imbalance explains the increased risk-taking and emotionally driven behaviour commonly attributed to young people.

Furthermore, brain development may be delayed or hindered by other factors such as mental disorders and distress, adverse childhood experiences, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and alcohol and substance use. These contextual risks therefore introduce significant vulnerability in young people. The very nature of brain development during the transition to adulthood is often at the root of the risk-taking behaviour which can cause further damage to the already vulnerable younger brain.”

“All of this means that the younger brain is less well-equipped to enable good life choices and exert self-control, and is disproportionately vulnerable to the factors which can compound these problems.

As the brain continues to develop during our late teens and into our twenties, and in light of these wider findings, the research finds that there is a strong case for considering cognitive maturity in judicial decision-making up to at least age 25”