Criminal Advice and Remittals to the Childrens Hearings System

Date: 8th August 2017
Category: Child justice system

A new research report raises a number of questions for policy and practice on preventative interventions and support for young people involved in offending.

The Children's Hearings System mainly deals with children under the age of 16. However, some young people aged 16 and 17 are also involved in the Hearings System. This may happen where they are still subject to Compulsory Supervision Orders (CSOs) or where their case is remitted to the Hearings System for disposal following conviction by a court.

Scotland's Youth Justice Strategy for 2015 to 2020 aims to support young people in the transition to adult services and for diversion from prosecution and custody, including that more cases are remitted from the criminal courts to Children's Hearings.

This research, published by SCRA and written with support from the CYCJ, was carried out to provide evidence to inform the implementation of the Youth Justice Strategy, by examining:

- Life experiences of young people who have had requests for advice to Children's Hearings from the criminal courts, and/or remittals from courts to Children's Hearings. This includes their histories in the Hearings System, offending histories, experience of trauma, and service intervention;
- Types of offences and proceedings where criminal courts requested advice or remitted to Children's Hearings; and
- Children's Hearings' advice provided to criminal courts, and decisions on remittals from courts.

It looks at the cases of all young people with advice requested from criminal courts and Children's Hearings held in 2015-16 and any remittals following this advice; and those cases remitted from courts in 2015-16 where there was no previous advice request.