Poverty, inequality and justice: November 2015

Latest Scottish research on poverty, inequality and justice, offending and victimisation, the impact on people affected by poverty and much more. Read on . . .

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Poverty, inequality and justice


Poverty Matters: Theme editorial

Guest editors Lesley McCara, Susan McVie, and Maggie Mellon give an overview of the theme articles arguing that “In almost all policy debates about justice, poverty is acknowledged as the backdrop to inequalities [ . . .] yet successful transformation of both its causes and consequences remains elusive.”

The Reproduction of Poverty

Lesley McAra and Susan McVie share important results from their Edinburgh Study on Youth Transitions and Crime research, including findings that children from poor backgrounds are disproportionately selected into the juvenile justice system: in effect, justice systems appear to punish the poor and reproduce the conditions that entrench people in poverty and make violence more likely.

Is poverty reflected in changing patterns of victimisation in Scotland?

Susan McVie, Paul Norris and Rebecca Pillinger explain patterns of victimisation in Scotland noting that people who are ‘frequent personal victims’ are more likely to be living in areas of high educational and health deprivation.”

Does Place Matter?

Ellie Bates explores the relationship between the geography of crime and deprivation.

Just Care? Criminal Records and Children’s Hearings

Maggie Mellon looks at the vexed question of children’s hearings and criminal record disclosure under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act 2007.

The Undeserving?

Colin Webster reviews the impact of poverty on the criminality of young men, including increasingly punitive welfare responses.

The View from Unbroken Windows

Briege Nugent writes about her research talking to young people whose poverty is forcing them into isolation behind ‘unbroken’ windows – low expectations are combined with anxiety, and ‘falling apart’ emotionally.

Animating Through Animation

Marianne McAra comments on the positive effects of working with vulnerable and at risk young people from deprived areas on an animation project.

Women Talking about Injustice and Poverty

CC, Heather, Karen and Colette meet at the Serenity Cafe, Edinburgh to talk about justice and poverty.

Current issues

Crime Justice and Society in Scotland – from the editors’ perspective.

Two of the editors of the new book on Scottish justice explain the themes of the project, their approach to it and the content of the resulting collaborative publication.

Fairer Justice: a vision for Scotland

This is an edited version of the Apex Lecture given by Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, in September 2015.

‘Sent Homeward tae think again’: scale and perspective revisited in the reform of women’s custody in Scotland

Colin McConnell and Jim Carnie give an account of the response of the Scottish Prison Service to developing a strategy for women in custody following the decision not to build a new prison at HMP Inverclyde.

Prevent Homelessness and Reduce Offending

Emma Dore of Shelter Scotland argues that preventing homelessness needs to be central to the delivery of community justice.

When Research and Politics Collide – Stop and Search

A personal account by Kath Murray of her PhD research on stop and search and its political impact.

Poverty, territorial stigmatisation and social insecurities as social harms: the Commonwealth Games and the East End of Glasgow

Gerry Mooney, Vikki McCall and Kirsteen Paton on the interaction between the ‘heavy securitisation’ experienced by local residents during the Games and social insecurities, marginality and poverty.



Discussing impact of juvenile justice interventions on poverty, vulnerability and emancipation of young adults: a Belgian perspective.

Jenneke Christiaens draws attention to Belgian research on the impact of justice systems on young people in poverty.


Make It Happen: Interview with Baroness Vivien Stern

The noted international prison reformer, Vivien Stern, talks to Maggie Mellon about women in the justice system, short sentence reform and the possibility of real change in Scotland.



A Day in the Life of A Circles Volunteer

Steph is a volunteer with Sacro’s Circles of Support and Accountability service working with sex offenders.

Take 5

‘Take Five’

Five MSPs with responsibility for justice tell us what steps they would take to deal with the problem of reoffending and homelessness.


Homicide in Scotland: the need for a deeper understanding

PhD student Sara Skott reviews homicide trends in Scotland and what they might be able to tell us about violence in our society.