Sentences for young people

People under 18 get different sentences to adults.

Detention and Training Order

A Detention and Training Order can be given to someone aged between 12 and 17.

They last between 4 months and 2 years.

The first half of a Detention and Training Order is served in custody, the second half is served in the community.

Violent or sexual crimes

For severe crimes - usually violent or sexual - young people can get an ‘extended sentence’. They could spend a long time in custody, and when released they’ll be put under supervision for a long time (for example being tagged).


For murder, the court sets the minimum amount of time to be spent in custody. The young person can’t apply for parole before this time.

When released, the young person will be kept under supervision for the rest of their life.

Other serious crimes

Sometimes the sentence for a young person can last as long as the sentence for an adult for the same offence (but not longer). This includes life sentences.