Anyone under 18 who is sentenced to custody is sent to a secure centre for children, not to an adult prison.
Why children are sent to custody
A court can give a child a custodial sentence if the offence is so serious that they cannot justify a fine or a community sentence.
A child can also be sent to custody on remand.
The Youth Custody Service will decide which secure centre a child will be sent to, based on:
- an assessment and recommendation made by the Youth Justice Service
- the child’s needs
- the child’s age and sex
They will choose somewhere that is:
- best suited to caring for the child
- as near to their home as possible