Watson's host crime and justice conference for over 200 students

Watson's host crime and justice conference for over 200 students

Published on 29 November 2019

On Thursday 28 November, we welcomed over 200 students from 18 schools across Scotland to our Advanced Higher Modern Studies conference. 

Pupils from across Scotland joined us for the full-day conference, which focused on the theme of ‘Crime and Justice.’ The day started with a unique opportunity to view Community Justice Scotland’s ‘Second Chancers’ exhibition. The exhibition explores what justice looks like in 21st century Scotland and what works to prevent offending, repair lives and improve communities.

Delegates also had the opportunity to hear a keynote speech from Ian Millar, SQA PA for Advanced Higher Modern Studies who provided some invaluable insight into the exam. 


Students were presented with a choice of six workshops where they could explore the issues surrounding the criminal justice system and the impact that it has on families and communities. The following workshops were led by a range of professionals, charities and people with lived experience of crime and justice:

  • Tam Begbie from Peer Navigators explained how he works in collaboration with the Violence Reduction Unit, to deliver an intervention programme based in emergency departments to support people away from violence. 
  • Lindsey Miller currently heads the serious and organised crime taskforce and led a discussion of the role of the prosecutor in Scottish society, which students learned went beyond pushing for convictions. 
  • Dawn Henderson and Fiona Allan from Families Outside explained the challenges that families and children of those who are imprisoned face. 
  • Jordan Butler from Heavy Sound: Changing lives Through Music, shared his own experience of being homeless and becoming involved with substance abuse which leads to criminal activity. He set up the charity to engage young people, who have experienced trauma, to help turn their lives around through the power of music. 
  • James Sutherland and Kevin Dickson from Aid & Abet explained their own experiences of the prison system and drug addiction. They also discussed the work that the charity does to help people who have been in jail make good on their intentions not to go back. 

Peter Smith and David Scott led a workshop that explored the functions of Community Justice in Scotland and took a deeper look at the Second Chancers stories, featured in the exhibition. 

Positive prison, Positive Future 

To end the day, Pete White, former Chief Executive Officer at Positive Prison? Positive Future answered a variety of mature and insightful questions from our delegates. 

We were delighted to work in partnership with Modern Studies departments from a range of schools to deepen our young people’s understanding of these vast and complex topics, in preparing for their Advanced Higher exams and dissertations.