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NCJ Number: 66422 Find in a Library
Title: COMMITTAL TO RESIDENTIAL CARE - A CASE STUDY IN JUVENILE JUSTICE - SCOTLAND
Author(s): M RUSHFORTH
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 98
Sponsoring Agency: Her Majesty's Stationery Office
Norwich, NR3 1GN,
Sale Source: Her Majesty's Stationery Office
PO Box 29
Norwich, NR3 1GN,
United Kingdom
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE REPORT COMPARES JUVENILES COMMITTED TO SCOTTISH RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES BETWEEN 1971 AND 1973 BY CHILDREN'S HEARINGS AND COURTS.
Abstract: SINCE THE IMPLEMENTATION IN 1971 OF PART III OF THE SOCIAL WORK ACT, MOST JUVENILE OFFENDERS IN SCOTLAND ARE HANDLED BY A CHILDREN'S HEARING, BUT A MINORITY ARE STILL DIRECTED TO THE SHERIFF'S COURT. BOTH CAN RECOMMEND PLACEMENT IN A LIST D TRAINING SCHOOL. USING A SAMPLE OF 203 BOYS COMMITTED BY THE HEARING OR PANEL AND 117 COURT BOYS, THIS STUDY EXAMINED THE CONTENTION THAT COURT BOYS COULD BE MORE DIFFICULT AND LESS RESPONSIVE BY TRAINING THAN THE PANEL BOYS. ANALYSIS OF THE BACKGROUNDS OF BOTH GROUPS REVEALED THAT ALL CAME FROM DEPRIVED SITUATIONS OF LARGE FAMILIES, LOW INCOMES, AND OVERCROWDED LIVING CONDITIONS. WHEN A SEPARATE SAMPLE OF 117 COURT BOYS AND 97 PANEL BOYS WHO HAD BEEN IN TRAINING SCHOOL FOR AT LEAST 6 MONTHS WAS ANALYZED, NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES WERE DISCOVERED IN THEIR REACTIONS TO TRAINING. THERE WAS A SLIGHT TENDENCY FOR COURT BOYS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO A BORSTAL INSTITUTION AND STAY IN THE LIST D SCHOOL LONGER. AN EXAMINATION OF THE RECORDS OF THE FIRST SAMPLE SHOWED THAT BOYS WERE COMMITTED TO COURTS FOR REASONS OTHER THAN THE SERIOUSNESS OF THEIR CRIMES. MORE OF THE COURT BOYS WERE HELD IN CUSTODY BEFORE AND AFTER THEIR HEARING AND HAD TO WAIT LONGER FOR A PLACE IN THE TRAINING SHOOL. THE MAJORITY OF THE STAFF INTERVIEWED SAW NO DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COURT AND PANEL BOYS, BUT A MINORITY CONSISTENTLY MAINTAINED THAT GREATER CONTROL WAS EXERTED OVER COURT BOYS. AMONG THE STAFF THERE WAS CONFUSION AND DISAGREEMENT OVER THE TWO COMMITTAL SYSTEMS, TREATMENT STRATEGIES, CONTROL PROBLEMS, AND RELEASE CRITERIA. THE STUDY RAISED SEVERAL ISSUES IN JUVENILE JUSTICE, INCLUDING DEPRIVATION AS A CAUSE OF DELINQUENCY, LABELING, THE LEGAL RIGHTS OF CHILDREN, AND HOW INNOVATION IS PERCEIVED BY WORKERS IN THE SYSTEM. AN APPENDED STUDY COMPARED NONOFFENDERS PLACED IN THE SCHOOL WITH THE REMAINDER OF THE PANEL-COMMITTED BOYS. SINCE THE FAMILY BACKGROUND OF THE NONOFFENDERS WAS SURPRISINGLY MORE UNSTABLE AND THE DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR OF BOTH GROUPS WAS SIMILAR, IT SEEMS UNLIKELY THAT OFFENDERS COULD LEAD NONOFFENDERS INTO DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED, AND APPENDIXES CONTAIN A DESCRIPTION OF THE MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS AND THE INTERVIEW FORM USED IN THE STUDY. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Hearings; Juvenile correctional facilities; Juvenile court diversion; Juvenile courts; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile processing; Scotland
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66422

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