The assessment of juvenile offenders : learning lessons for Saudi Arabia from a contextual comparison with Scotland

  • Saad Mohammed S Alateeq

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

The diversity in systems and procedures for treating juvenile offenders who commit similar offences under similar circumstances around the world raises a number of questions. These questions concern the organisational and procedural structures, the value orientation, and the historical, political and legal factors, that determine the works and outcome of a juvenile justice system. While both claiming to uphold a 'welfare' approach, with the best interests of the child at their core, Saudi Arabia and Scotland apply dissimilar procedures when dealing with juvenile offenders.Employing comparative study techniques, this research aims to unravel the similarities and differences between the juvenile justice systems in both countries, discover strengthens and weaknesses, and learn from the experience of both systems as to how to ultimately strengthen and make more effective a juvenile justice system.The research question posed is: How does the Saudi juvenile justice system assess young offenders once the juvenile offender is referred to the system, and how does this affect the decisions regarding the response, compared with the Scottish system? This issue was examined and addressed by implementing a qualitative approach which focuses on the meanings and interpretations given to the practice and purpose of assessment. It applies empirical study techniques in the form of in-depth semi-structured interviews with social workers, judges and children's panel members.The research findings explored the considerations taken into account by juvenile judges and the children's hearing panel when making a decision regarding juveniles who commit offences, and also illustrated how the social worker's report influences the decision made, and its relative importance in each country. It also illustrated the assessment methods applied, to display the strengths and weaknesses in practice in both countries.
Date of Award1 Oct 2012
LanguageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorClaire McDiarmid (Supervisor) & Mike Nellis (Supervisor)

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