Scottish Association for the Study of Offending launches by removing "Delinquency" from title

From April 2005 Scotland's main criminal justice association has a new name. The Scottish Association for the Study of Delinquency (SASD) becomes the Scottish Association for the Study of Offending (SASO).

The Association has changed its name because the term "delinquency" had become outdated and confusing. It did not make clear the wide scope of the Association's activities and the breadth of its membership.

The Association aims to create a common meeting ground, both locally and nationally, for all the professional groups and individuals concerned with the issues raised by offending.

The Honorary President is Lord Gill, the Lord Justice Clerk. The membership is widely drawn: judges and sheriffs, the police, the legal profession, the prison service, academics, teachers, reporters to children's panels and children's panel members, central and local government, procurators fiscal, doctors, clergy, psychologists, prison visiting committees and the voluntary sector.

The Association, through its meetings, provides a valuable opportunity for an exchange of views by its members. SASO has no agenda other than to encourage purposeful dialogue within the Scottish criminal justice system in ways which will contribute to the improvement of the system as a whole. The Association and its activities offers a great opportunity for solicitors to meet informally with all those involved in the justice system in their area and discuss issues of common interest.

Through its local branches, SASO provides a programme of meetings and local conferences. Details of these activities can be found on the Association's website The lecture programmes are usually over the winter months and they, and attendance at the Association's annual conference, may be eligible for continuous professional development.

SASO welcomes solicitors as members. Information about how to join can be found on the website mentioned above. Alternatively, write to the Association's Administrator: Carol McNeill, 56 Ava Street, Kirkcaldy, Fife KY1 1PN. However, you do not need to be a member to attend SASO events. All events are open to the public. There are a number of branches throughout Scotland and new branches are in process of formation. Speakers at branch events may be national figures, such as Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss or Lord MacLean, or local figures who provide first hand, up to date accounts of local developments, such as a sheriff speaking on drug courts or a social worker describing new programmes for offenders.

The national conference takes place each year in Peebles on the third weekend in November and attracts distinguished speakers, such as Lord Woolf, Professor Sir Anthony Bottoms, the Solicitor General and the Minister for Justice. It is Scotland's main criminal justice conference and an excellent chance to meet a wide range of people involved in criminal justice.

The Author
Niall Campbell is Chairman of the Scottish Association for the Study of Offending
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