Neglecting justice? Exploring Scottish convictions for ill-treatment and wilful neglect

Christopher Godwin, Kathryn Mackay
  • The Journal of Adult Protection, August 2015, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/jap-02-2014-0005

Exploring the barriers to gaining convictions for ill-treatment and wilful neglect in Scotland

What is it about?

There are very few Scottish convictions for ill-treatment or wilful neglect. This article looks at some of the barriers that might exist in gaining access to justice. These include lack of recognition of neglect or ill-treatment as a crime; paternalistic attitudes; lack of knowledge about how crimes have been defined; and lack of public and professional awareness about successful convictions. The article uses the concept of parity of participation to explore these barriers.

Why is it important?

The article pulls together statistical and qualitative information from a range of diverse sources, for the first time, to highlight how little is known about the lack of Scottish convictions. It calls for better information and training for health, social care staff, police and court officials if justice through the criminal prosecution of offenders is going to be successful. This is even more urgent because the offence is to extended all adult users of health and social care services.

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The following have contributed to this page: Ms Kathryn J Mackay

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