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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77075 Find in a Library
Title: Social Work and the Treatment of Offenders in Scotland
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:24  Issue:3  Dated:(1980)  Pages:215-225
Author(s): A Wilson
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The effects of Scotland's Social Work Act of 1968 on the treatment of offenders are reviewed.
Abstract: The major parts of the act became effective in 1969 and 1971. Its main effect was to bring together the existing legislation covering services for child care; welfare and social support of the elderly, the handicapped, and the ill; the supervision of offenders; and the aftercare of prisoners. In addition, the act severely restricted the prosecution of children for offenses and abolished juvenile courts, replacing them with a system of children's hearings, with the provision that hearing decisions are subject to appeal to the court system. Finally, the former separate local authority services for the care of children, the handicapped, the aged, offenders, and ex-inmates were brought within one single organization -- the social work department. The children's hearings are responsible for dealing with cases involving juvenile offenders, truancy, children beyond parental control, the need for care or protection, and domestic disorder. Youths of 16 years of age or younger are brought before a reporter (who decides which youths will be heard), a social worker, and three lay persons from the community who attempt to provide an informal setting for frank discussion on what is best to do in the children's interests. Social workers have also been given the responsibility of dealing with offenders on probation and of supervising those on parole or aftercare (for youths released from correctional facilities). The responses of social workers to these changes are considered, and future developments are reviewed. Special attention is given to the recommendations of the Officer/Member Group Report on the Services to the Offender, which contains social workers' views on improving offender services.
Index Term(s): Adult offenders; Correctional reform; Juvenile diversion programs; Juvenile justice reform; Juvenile processing; Probation or parole officers; Scotland; Social workers
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