17th June 2015

WholeSystemsA co-ordinated approach to diverting young offenders away from the criminal justice system has been found to boost partnership working amid a reduction in referrals to the children’s hearing system.

Researchers from the SCCJR – Professor Michele Burman, Professor Susan McVie, Dr Paul McGuiness and Dr Kath Murray – evaluated the impact of the Scottish Government’s Whole System Approach for Children and Young People who Offend (WSA).

Professors Burman and McVie said: “Our research showed that closer multi-agency working, closer information sharing and the strong incorporation of welfarist values in decision-making and practice are important for ensuring better outcomes for young people.”

Professor Burman and Dr McGuinness will present on the evaluation findings today at the National Youth Justice Conference 2015: ‘It’s Complicated: Youth Justice and Complexity in Scotland’ at the West Park Conference Centre in Dundee. The conference will be opened by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, who will announce Scotland’s new strategy to prevent children and young people from offending.

The full report is available in the Publications section.

Young People and Youth Justice