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Youth justice in the UK: children, young people and crime
Youth justice in the UK: children, young people and crime

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8 Summary of Session 3

Completing this third session has introduced you to a very different way of responding to children’s problematic behaviour. Scotland’s Hearings system was established in the 1970s by placing children’s welfare firmly at the centre of all state intervention. Children are measured by their needs rather than their deeds. It is far from perfect and children in Scotland have voiced their concerns about the way it works. It has proved to be resilient and flexible. Children and young people in Scotland face similar challenges to those in other nations. Violence and crime often go hand in hand but Scotland has demonstrated how alternatives to conventional police-led, criminal justice responses can be effective.

The main learning points of this third session are:

  • Scotland’s Children’s Hearings system is a distinctive, and distinctively Scottish, response to children’s problematic behaviour.
  • The Children’s Hearings system is designed to convene social support for children whose needs are seen as central to any intervention arising from what they have done.
  • The system seeks to renew itself and be responsive to changing circumstances of children and their families.
  • Creative and innovative responses to these issues are being developed.

In the next session, you will explore how the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland have led to the development of another distinctive approach to tackling children and young people’s offending behaviour.

You can now go to Session 4 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .