Social Work Advantage of Scottish Model in Delivering Probation Services .

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  • Topic: Sociology, Crime, Social work
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  • Published : January 9, 2011
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The Welfarest Approach
The delivery of Criminal Justice in Scotland is quite distinct in the formation of its legal institutions. It is traditionally associated with a welfarest approach as reflected in the establishment of the worldwide renowned Children’s Hearing System (Croall 2006, p587). A legacy, based on the recommendations of the Kilbrandon Report published in 1964. The report is responsible for revolutionising the juvenile justice system by removing offenders under 16yrs from the criminal courts. The report recommended a lay panel of three members, children’s hearing who would decide what the best course of action should be on the basis of the child’s needs, assessment and treatment was to be based on the ‘paramount welfare of the child’. (Stone 2003) the report identified that a vast majority of the children who offended were let down by parental upbringing and recommended a social re-education implemented towards the children and parents where required. Kilbrandon called for an integrated service to deliver these needs and recommended that a ‘treatment authority’ would no longer be ‘a small and specialised part of the criminal jurisdiction, but instead....a small but important part of the system of social service’ (Stone 2003 Quoting Kilbrandon, 1966). This recommendation led to the discussion white paper 1996, Social Work and the community, which significantly led to the integration of the probation service with generic Social Work departments and the legislation of the Social Work Scotland Act, 1968. This changed the history of how probation was delivered in Scotland; the probation service was to be carried out by criminal justice social workers as opposed to probation officers. The importance of early preventative intervention was emphasized and multi-disciplinary collaboration as effective practice within the criminal justice setting. This also reinforced the idea that Scotland ‘remained committed to a welfare state ethos.’ (Croall 2006, p590) Despite the political climate at the time which emphasized the importance of more ‘punitive’ approaches towards crime which was popular in England and Wales. (Croall 2006, p589) The Punitive Approach

The juvenile justice system in England and Wales has a ‘punitive approach’ towards child offenders. The Kilbrandon Now Enquiry, 2003 thought it useful to investigate alternative approaches to youth justice during their investigation into the effectiveness into the children’s hearing system in Scotland. It found that the ‘punitive approach’ adopted by England and Wales resulted in a ‘high prison population among juveniles and a range of non-custodial punishments that are based on deterrence and containment rather than rehabilitation’ (Paton, L) The report highlighted the cost of the system, not only financial but ‘social and human costs’ (Paton, L) also. This approach is thought to be influenced by New Labours policy implications and rhetoric which was ‘populist’ and inclined towards ‘punitive managerialism’ (Croall 2006, p 589) The political stance at the time emphasised a tougher approach to crime as seen in the introduction of ‘Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOS), parenting orders, curfews and electronic tagging’(Croall 2006, p589). An investigation conducted by the Prison Reform Trust in 2008: Punishing disadvantage: a profile of children in custody (Jacobson, Bhardwa, Gynteng, Hunter, Hough 2010) further highlights the ‘punitive approach’ favoured in the England and Wales system. It carried out a review into the information on children in custody in England and Wales from July to December 2008, from the 6,000 child offenders in custody at the time a randomly selected sample of 300 child offenders were taken, the review included a detailed investigation into the backgrounds and circumstances of the 300 children. The key findings indicated that ‘around half the children were imprisoned for crimes that were non-violent. Just over one-third (35%) were imprisoned for...
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