Community Justice Scotland (CJS) welcomes the Age of Criminal Responsibility (ACR) Bill. We believe any measures which decriminalise our response to children and young people’s negative behaviours, is a positive move. The raising of the ACR is long overdue in Scotland and has unintentionally contributed to intergenerational issues for society by criminalising the most vulnerable individuals in society. CJS believes that children and young people’s behaviour is supported through the Children’s Hearing System on wellbeing grounds and not criminalised. We believe the Scottish Parliament should take an evidence based approach to setting an ACR. CJS notes that the ambition to support Children and Young People’s wellbeing can often be confused with the ACR. Whatever age is set, our response to children and young people should remain compassionate and responsive.

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