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The Strange Death of Welfarism: Youth Justice and the Anti-Social in Scotland

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  1. The Strange Death of Welfarism: Youth Justice and the Anti-Social in Scotland Lesley McAra University of Edinburgh

  2. Key lessons from the Scottish case • Political questions - Highlights the political risks of ‘governing through crime’ • Methodological questions - Highlights the need for scholars to look beyond policy documents to practice: a critical pluralist approach • Normative questions - Highlights the moral vacuum at the heart of punitive and exclusionary approaches

  3. Political lessons

  4. Anti-social behaviour legislation: a potted history • 1998 Crime and Disorder Act - ASBOs introduced for 16+ (applied for by LAs to Sheriff court, police to be consulted) • 2003 The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act - Interim ASBOs introduced - RSL enabled to apply for ASBOs • 2004 Anti-Social Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act - Extends use of ASBOs to 12 – 15 year olds - Police powers to disperse groups - Community reparation orders (via courts for those aged 12+) - Extension of remote electronic monitoring (tagging) to under 16s; - Parenting orders

  5. Differences from England/Wales(12-15 year olds) • Reporter to children’s hearings system to be consulted before an ASBO may be applied for • Sheriff to take account of “what is happening to the child in the hearings system and the best interests of the child” • The making of an ASBO or interim ASBO should be a trigger for a children’s hearing and court can require Reporter to arrange a hearing • Breach is criminal offence but “will not lead to imprisonment where no other offences are involved”

  6. Community Family Child

  7. Parent(s) of Offender Offender Community Victim

  8. A moral panic? • Statements by Ministers - Youth crime and anti-social behaviour is a complex and serious problem across Scotland. However, one thing is clear – our communities have had enough of it. (Scottish Executive 2002) - Serious crime is down but as today’s statistics show, communities are clearly still plagued by vandalism and other persistent forms of antisocial behaviour. (Scottish Executive 2004) • Media headlines (focus on ‘ned culture’) - Extra police target ned culture (BBC News, February 2004) - Crackdown on 'neds' will require extra £12m (Scotland on Sunday, June 2004) - Nike the Ned downed 60 bacardis and went on wrecking spree (Daily Record, May 2004) - Friday night out with the superneds (Sunday Herald, June 2003)

  9. Police recorded crime/offences in Scotland (1988-2007)Source: Scottish Government

  10. Scottish crime survey :% very or fairly worried that they will be victim Source: Brown and Bolling 2007

  11. Offence referrals to children’s hearing system Source: SCRA 2008

  12. Scottish Household Survey: Neighbourhood Incivilities (very or fairly common problem)(Source: Scottish Government 2008)

  13. Scottish Social Attitudes Survey: youth incivilities very or fairly common and how much affected by (Source: Anderson et al. 2005)

  14. Public attitudes towards youth crime(Source: Scottish Social Attitudes Survey : Anderson et al. 2005)

  15. Methodological lessons

  16. A failure of implementation? By March 2008: • 0 parenting orders • 14 ASBOs for under 16s (£500,000 each!) • 18 dispersal orders • 93 electronic taggings of under 16s (0.2% of children referred on offence grounds)

  17. Normative lessons

  18. Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime ‘Anti-social’ vs. non-offenders(hang out most days, noisy and cheeky in public, involved in vandalism and graffiti)(www.law.ed.ac.uk/cls/esytc)

  19. Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime ‘Anti-social’ vs. non-offenders(cont.)

  20. Housingpolicies Job security legislation Neighbourhood Family policies Hours of work School Father Dwelling Child Parents’ work situation Labour market policies Child care policies Child health centre - medical care Mother Friends Siblings Social security TV/mass media Leisuretime Cultural policies Communal support of voluntary agencies and leisure activities Bronfenbrenner/Martens (1993)