'Sentencing young people' guideline consultation

Closed 21 Aug 2020

Opened 28 Feb 2020

Results updated 15 Sep 2021

Analysis of the responses to the ‘Sentencing young people’ consultation was undertaken by Alison Platts and Dawn Griesbach on behalf of the Council. This was published on 15 September 2021.

The Council's report on the consultation, which sets out our views on the key points raised and indicates how we have adjusted our approach as a result, was also published on 15 September 2021.

Links to both documents can be found below.


Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This consultation seeks your views on the sentencing of young people.

The sentencing of young people is complex and challenging. It generally requires a more individualistic approach, with a need to take the unique personal circumstances of the young person into account. For example, many young people who have committed offences also have experience of trauma, including higher than average experience of traumatic bereavement. And depending on the maturity of the young person, their level of blame (culpability) for the offence will generally be lower than that of an older person. A young person who has not reached full maturity may also have a greater capacity for change, and therefore greater potential to be successfully rehabilitated.

Why your views matter

The Council is committed to carrying out public consultations on all our guidelines. This is a key part of the guideline development process and we are keen to hear from all those with an interest in our work.  We aim to engage with as wide and diverse an audience as possible in developing our guidelines to ensure that they are fit for purpose. This includes the wider public as well as criminal justice organisations, charities, academics, and other interested organisations.

If you are unable to respond to this consultation online, please contact the Scottish Sentencing Council directly to discuss alternative arrangements.

Consultation Materials

The consultation paper, draft sentencing guideline, and draft impact assessment are available for download:

Sentencing young people - consultation paper (217 kB)

Sentencing young people - draft guideline (111 kB)

Sentencing young people - draft impact assessment (304 kB)

To respond to this consultation, please complete the survey below.

In light of the difficulties many individuals and organisations are experiencing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Scottish Sentencing Council is extending the deadline for responding to the consultation on its 'Sentencing young people' draft guideline.

The consultation will now be open until 21 August 2020, allowing interested parties an additional 3 months to submit responses. It is hoped that this extension will enable all those who wish to respond to the consultation to do so.

What happens next

Analysis of the responses to this consultation can be found here.

The council's report on the consultation can be found here.

The final guideline came into force on 26 January 2022 and can be found here, along with the other guidelines currently in force.


  • All judiciary
  • Advocates
  • Solicitors
  • Offender support organisations
  • Victim support organisations


  • General applicability guidelines