Journal Article

Responding to Youth Crime in Scotland

Bill Whyte

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 34, issue 3, pages 395-411
Published in print April 2004 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online April 2004 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Responding to Youth Crime in Scotland

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Scotland’s Children’s Hearings deal with young people who offend within an integrated system dealing also with young people in need of care and protection, on the assumption that the difficulties of both groups have similar roots in multiple social disadvantage and social adversity (Whyte, 1998a). A government-funded study, one of the first since the system’s inception in 1971, was commissioned to examine the social characteristics of over 1,000 children and young people referred for offence and nonoffence reasons. This paper describes the characteristics of 465 of the young people who were referred specifically for offending. It provides the first ‘official’ data in twenty-five years on young people in the system. The study found that most of those referred for offending had characteristics strikingly similar to those referred for nonoffence reasons, as predicted when the system was first established, and similar to those present in the general literature on young offenders from other jurisdictions. The study poses fundamental questions taken up by the Scottish Executive’s review of youth crime on how best to design systems and develop social interventions that can address offending and social disadvantage in an integrated way.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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