Findings from the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice’s survey on the Age of Criminal Responsibility present an ‘unequivocal challenge’ to the current age of 12 in Scotland, with 85% saying it should be higher.
The survey, which consulted those aged 26 and under on their views about the Age of Criminal Responsibility, also found that children and young people would rather see their peers being supported, and not punished for being in conflict with the law. Furthermore, it shows there is an understanding of the underlying causes of offending behaviour and the role of brain development.
An impressive total of 342 children and young people completed the survey, which comprised of six key questions. It attached substantial feedback and comment on the justice/care systems in general, which has been included in the report’s appendix in the direct words of the respondents.
CYCJ’s Deputy Director Fiona Dyer, who developed the survey along with Beth-Anne Logan, said:
“We are immensely grateful to everyone who took the time to complete this survey – and to the practitioners who helped us to share it far and wide. By completing this survey as a young person, you have helped adults and decision makers think about how they can make a difference for children and young people across Scotland. Your views and your voice matters.
“The data will help the Age of Criminal Responsibility research subgroup decide on its next steps and course of action, and can also be used within the wider landscape of care and justice. We want everyone who took the time to complete this survey to feel reassured that we will be acting on what we have been told.”