Courts and Sentencing
An open letter about the Whole Life Custody draft proposal by Liam Kerr MSP
26th August 2019
Dr Hannah Graham (Stirling) and Prof Fergus McNeill (Glasgow) have written an open letter to Liam Kerr MSP in response to his proposal to introduce a whole life custodial sentence. In their letter Dr Graham and Prof McNeill argue that the proposals are ‘as regressive and problematic in principle as it would prove to be in practice’ and say existing arrangements in Scotland “for dealing...
Victim-Survivors of rape don’t feel justice has been met, even if the accused goes to prison
22nd August 2019
The Scottish criminal justice process leaves those who have reported a rape or serious sexual assault feeling marginalised and with little control regardless of their case’s outcome, a new study has found. Researchers from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow interviewed victim-survivors who have...
The Scottish Prisons Commission: Ten Years On
In July 2008 The Scottish Prisons Commission (also known as the McLeish Commission) published its report Scotland’s Choice. This report culminated an eight month investigation of how Scotland uses prison and the range of factors that drive this, from inequality in society to arrest and sentencing practices. The report contained 23 recommendations covering an almost unprecedented range of...
Social Enquiry and Sentencing in the Sheriff Courts
This ESRC funded research project was a collaboration led by Simon Halliday, Neil Hutton and Cyrus Tata at the University of Strathclyde. The study used ethnographic methods to study the production of social enquiry (or pre-sentence) reports and their use by sentencers. A summary report of the project’s findings can be found in project documents, along with some related recent...
Open letter about the Whole Life Custody draft proposal by Liam Kerr MSP
Published: August 2019
Dr Hannah Graham (Stirling) and Prof Fergus McNeill (Glasgow) have written an open letter to Liam Kerr MSP in response to his proposal to introduce a whole life custodial sentence. Mr Kerr believes ‘life should mean life for Scotland’s worst criminals’ and has brought forward a consultation process on the issue. In their letter Dr Graham and Prof McNeill argue that the proposals are...
Justice Journeys Informing policy and practice through lived experience of victim‐survivors of rape and serious sexual assault
Published: August 2019
This report documents the journeys of the victim-survivors interviewed as they navigated the Scottish criminal justice system. It begins with the decision to report to the police and continues through to reporting, investigation, prosecution, trial and court verdict. The research did not intend to consider sentencing, though views on this are included where they are available. Finally,...
Briefing on the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 Reporting Requirement
Section 14 subsection 4 (f) requires ‘information about the experience of witnesses (including witnesses who are children) at court’. The Measuring Justice project is completing a review of methods of measuring justice experiences and offers a summary of how this work might inform the Government’s fulfilment of the reporting requirement.
Review of the Aberdeen Problem-Solving Approach
Published: September 2018
The Aberdeen Problem-Solving Approach (PSA) has been running in Aberdeen Sheriff Court since November 2015 (for women) and since August 2016 (for young men). In line with theory and evidence on problem-solving justice, it aims to reduce the use of short custodial sentences and reduce reoffending by combining the authority of the court with support and rehabilitative opportunities to address the...
The Scottish Prisons Commission 10 Years On – A Briefing Paper
Published: July 2018
This briefing paper highlights the key issues that the Commission concerned itself with during its deliberations, quoting from its report and sketching how the landscape in these areas has developed since then. We hope it serves as a useful refresher for stimulating your participation at the conference on 29th June 2018. The presentations, lectures and discussion at this event will inform the...