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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78434 Find in a Library
Title: Justifying Justice
Journal: SASD Bulletin  Issue:8  Dated:(February 1981)  Pages:6-29
Author(s): M Rifkind; A Morrison; C G B Nicholson
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 24
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This Scottish conference report contains three speeches by national and local law enforcement officials regarding the present use of imprisonment, noncustodial alternatives to prison, and police powers, with particular concern for juvenile offenders.
Abstract: The keynote address by the Scottish Minister for Home Affairs and the Environment began by criticizing the current high rate of imprisonment and recommending that judges impose shorter sentences. Legislation that should help to reduce the prison population, such as the Bail Act and the Criminal Justice Act, was reviewed, with particular attention to provisions regarding enforcement procedures for fines, diversion of drunks from the courts to detoxification centers, and the power of the criminal courts to award victim compensation. A local police chief summarizes Scottish law, United Kingdom statutes, and common law restraints on police authority to arrest without a warrant and concludes that the present balance between public interest demands and police powers has resulted in just treatment and should not be changed. This speaker commented that juvenile crime increases over the last decade cannot be blamed on educational, social, or law enforcement agencies but stem from basic problems in the home environment and the affluence of modern society. The final talk focused on the benefits and disadvantages of imprisonment and reviewed current alternatives to custody. Unfavorable comparisons between prison populations in Holland and Scotland were analyzed, and the speaker noted that Scotland's prison population had been static since 1970 and was showing signs of decreasing. The discussion of alternatives to prison considered parole, diversion, decriminalization, extended use of cautions, fines, probation, community service, and combinations of custody and supervision. No references are cited.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Correctional reform; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Incarceration; Laws and Statutes; Police legal limitations; Police responsibilities; Scotland
Note: Papers presented at the 1980 Annual Conference of the Scottish Association for the Study of Delinquency held at Peebles Hydro Hotel, November 21-23.
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