New fast track courts for young offenders to be piloted

Specialist youth courts and children’s hearings to fast
track dealing with young persistent offenders are to be piloted in
Scotland, following an announcement by first minister Jack

The proposals form key components of a 10-point action plan
developed by a ministerial group on youth crime. The plan is
designed to tackle the problem of persistent offending, enhance
community safety and improve the effectiveness of Scotland’s
youth justice systems.

McConnell said: “This action plan sets out the steps we will
take in vital areas. We need to put in place arrangements that
stand the test of time and make a lasting difference.”

Other aspects of the plan include introducing national standards
to operate between local authorities, criminal justice services and
children’s hearings. Secure units will be re-configured to
make more places available and to create accommodation for females

Measures will also be introduced to promote parental
responsibility and the role of parents in tackling youth crime.

The announcement came the day after an additional £15
million was allocated to tackle youth crime. The plan will be
funded by this allocation, and a further £25.5 million
announced in February.

Justice minister Jim Wallace, said: “The police, courts and
children’s hearings need a range of approaches to deal with
the variety of situations, and the flexibility to use these
according to the circumstances.”

Minister for education and young people Cathy Jamieson said:
“The partnership approach is critical to success in this area. We
need to ensure youth crime cases are brought before the
children’s hearings and courts sooner, and do more to deal
with persistent offenders who account for so much youth crime.”









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