OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relation between injury severity in assault, offence seriousness, and outcome in the criminal justice system. METHODS: Prospective random sample of 93 assault victims who attended hospital were interviewed and examined and followed through the criminal justice system. Patient and police interviews were carried out at Bristol Royal Infirmary accident and emergency and outpatient departments, wards, and in Avon police stations and criminal courts. Severity of injury (injury severity score [ISS] assessed by the major trauma outcome study group), offence seriousness (Delphi panel of criminologists), and outcome in the criminal justice system were recorded. RESULTS: Median ISS was 4 (range 1-17). There was no significant correlation between ISS and outcome in the CJS (rs = 0.07). There was a weak correlation between offence seriousness and outcome (rs = -0.24, P = 0.019). CONCLUSIONS: Outcome in the criminal justice system was not predictable from injury severity scores and was only weakly linked to offence seriousness. Contacts with medical services are opportunities for protecting those at risk of violence.
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