A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Northern youth courts tougher on working
class

Magistrates around the country are imposing different sentences
for similar crimes leaving teenage offenders suffering a justice by
geography situation.

Youths in the north east, north west and south Wales are likely
to be treated more harshly than those in high crime areas like
inner London.

One criminal justice expert said: “The further north you get,
the more serious sentencing becomes for adults as well as
juveniles. It is a working class culture thing.”

Lord Warner, chairperson of the youth justice board, said: “The
board is concerned at the wide disparity in sentencing. This is
resulting in a significant element of ‘justice by
geography’, which is inherently unfair.”

Source:- The Times Friday 24 August page 8

Dementia is ‘excuse’ for neglect by
homes

Older people are suffering neglect with the excuse being made of
dementia, according to a survey of residential homes published
yesterday.

In a study of 17 homes published in the British Medical Journal,
none of those which cater for older people with dementia came close
to offering a decent standard of living.

All seven NHS homes needed radical changes to come up to
scratch, as did the five private ones. The five remaining private
homes needed many improvements, according to researchers from the
Royal College of Psychiatry.

The Alzheimer’s Society said it hoped the study would
emphasise the need for more to be invested in care home staff and
design.

Source:- The Times Friday 24 August page 9

Blair warned of rough ride ahead

Tony Blair will face a tough ride in his second term of office
with “angry and anxious” trade unions concerned about the
government’s plans to reinvigorate public services with
private funding.

TUC general secretary John Monks said that the “shortest
honeymoon on record” between Labour and the trade unions would be
replaced by a “very difficult relationship”.

Downing Street is bracing itself for the hostility when Blair
outlines his plans to the congress next month.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 24 August page 2

Persistent offenders unconvinced by £100m
rehabilitation scheme

Hundreds of persistent offenders are refusing to undertake the
£100 million home office programme designed to reform
offenders, according to probation staff.

The programme includes hundreds of questions for the offender to
answer as part of American devised psychometric tests.

Probation officers have called the tests “unrealistic” and “too
complicated”, and believe the biggest probation scheme to be
undertaken in the country, will fail to meet home office
targets.

The home office wants 60,000 offenders to go through the
programme, but the National Association of Probation Officers
believes the figure will be closer to 15,000.

Source:- Independent Friday 24 August page 5

Desperate struggle to reach UK ‘El
Dorado’

Every 30 minutes a Sangatte refugee makes it through the
Channel

Source:- The Times Friday 24 August page 5

Scottish newspapers

Child abuse trial told girl was thrashed

A woman who claims she was sexually and physically abused while
a living in a children’s home in the 1960’s, told
Glasgow high court yesterday how she heard “the terrible screams”
of other small girls. The woman was giving evidence at the trial of
Samuel McBrearty who denies 19 charges of physical and sexual abuse
alleged to have been committed while he was a care worker at a
Quarriers’ children’s home. The trial continues
today.

Source:- The Herald Friday 24 August page 15

Justice minister’s pledge over asylum
seekers

Jim Wallace, justice minister, will next week become the first
government minister to visit Sighthill in Glasgow since the killing
of asylum seeker Firsat Dag three weeks ago.

In an exclusive interview with The Herald, Wallace
spoke of his anger and shame at the physical abuse and attacks on
asylum seekers in Scotland. Wallace said that the Scottish
executive would not seek to replace the voucher scheme
independently, but would encourage home secretary, David Blunkett,
to learn from events in Scotland and scrap the system. Wallace
pledged to improve circumstances for all refugees and asylum
seekers in Scotland.

Source:- The Herald Friday 24 August page 6

Youngest convicted drug dealer back in
court

Scotland’s youngest known convicted drug dealer was back
in court yesterday.

In 1997 David Sneddon was only 14-years of age when found guilty
of being in possession of a suitcase of Ecstasy with intent to
supply.

At that time, the sheriff in Falkirk broke from protocol by
naming him – unusual in for a child under 16-years of age.
Yesterday, now aged 18 years, Sneddon was back in Falkirk sheriff
court pleading guilty to the supply of heroin and housebreaking.
Sheriff Craig Caldwell sentenced him to 200 hours community service
and one year’s probation with a condition that he attend the
‘Airborne Initiative’, a residential project which works with young
offenders.

Source:- The Herald Friday 24 August page 7

 

 

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