Prison sentences for young people

Someone who is under 18 will be given a different sentence to an adult. Sentences young people can receive are - 


Detention and Training Order

A Detention and Training Order also known as a DTO can be given to someone aged between 12 and 17. 

A DTO can last between 4 months and 2 years. 

When a DTO is being served, the first half will take place in custody, and the second half will be served within the community. 

Whilst in custody you will have regular meetings with your youth offending team case worker. Your parents or carers will be able to visit you. You will also be able to make phone calls. You will have a sentence plan in custody and as part of that plan you will be able to attend education and training. 


Section 90/91

If a young person is found guilty of committing an where an adult would be sentenced to custody for at least 14 years, a young person may be sentenced under Section 90/91. 

Section 90

If the offence is murder, the sentence will come under Section 90 of the Powers of the Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000. This is a life sentence. As part of this, the court will set a minimum time which is to be spent in custody. After this time, the young person will be able to apply for release.

Section 91

If the offence is for any other serious crime (not including murder) the young person may be sentenced under Section 91 of the Powers of the Criminal Court (Sentencing) Act 2000. This means that the length of the sentence can be anywhere up to the adult maximum for the same offence. This may mean life for certain offences.