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Scotland

Michele Burman and Susan McVie INTRODUCTION

The aim of every juvenile justice system should surely be to get it right for every child? It is poignant then that, after a very turbulent period of juvenile justice policy development in Scotland which threatened to get it wrong for many children, the Scottish system is now predicated on a set of principles enshrined in law that are explicitly known as Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC). This chapter provides a brief history of juvenile justice in Scotland before going on to examine the age of criminal responsibility (which currently stands at 8 years) and how this fits with the country’s stance towards the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). It then provides an overview of trends in juvenile crime in Scotland, focusing mainly on the last decade, from a range of sources of information. It examines the role played by various agencies in relation to juveniles, including the police, the courts and the prison system, as well as discussing various alternative sanctions. Finally, it discusses some of the main gender differences in juvenile crime and justice system involvement in the Scottish context.

 
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