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Sentencing young people: includem responds to Scottish Sentencing Council


 Includem has today submitted a response to the Scottish Sentencing Council’s consultation on guidelines for sentencing young people.

In our response we call for:

  • A focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment;
  • Consistency in sentencing across Scotland;
  • Judges to take a young person’s history and social context into consideration, such as bereavement;
  • Greater continuity of relationships and services for young people aged 18 and over;
  • More funding for and commissioning of services that can support rehabilitation and community sentences.

Meg Thomas, our Head of Policy and Participation, says:

“We welcome the fact the Scottish Sentencing Council is consulting on this. Our years of experience in supporting young people in conflict with the law tells us that most young people grow out of offending behaviour by their mid-twenties, particularly if they are supported to do so.

“We have seen first-hand the devastation for young people when a sentence doesn’t focus on rehabilitation and fails to take into consideration their levels of culpability and willingness to make changes. For many, these sentences trap young people in a cycle of offending at a significant personal cost and a cost to the wider society.

“We need Scottish Government to ensure that the services that are needed to support young people on their journey of rehabilitation are properly funded and available to all.”

Read our submission here.

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