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Detention and Training Order

Young people 12 to 17 years old who are sentenced to custody in the youth court are normally given a detention and training order (DTO). This combines detention with training and will be used for young people who commit a serious offence or commit a number of offences.

Half the sentence is spent in custody and the other half is supervised by the Youth Justice Service in the community. There is a lot of time focused on training and education to help reduce the risk of young people offending when the sentence is finished.

Young people under the age of 15 years old will be held in a secure children’s home (SCH) and those aged 15 years old or over will be held in either a young offender institution (YOI) or secure training centre (STC). Girls are not placed in a young offender institution and will be sent to either a secure children’s home or secure training centre.  These organisations provide a safe and secure environment for young people and full provision is made for education, health, offending behaviour programmes and maintaining links with home and family.

Detention under section 90/91

This is a sentence for imprisonment under section 90 or 91 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, and allows for sentences of imprisonment greater than 24 months and for life sentences for grave crimes.

Release is subject to the agreement of the parole board.

Detention under section 226/228 (imprisonment for public protection)

This is a sentence for imprisonment under section 226 or 228 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and allows for an indeterminate sentence of detention, or an extended sentence of detention, to be made where the young person is assessed as presenting a danger to the public.

Release may be denied or subject to extended conditions to protect the public.

Release and post-release supervision

Young people in custody receive regular visits from the Youth Justice Service throughout their time in custody. Planning for release takes place at an early stage. For many young people returning to the community is the toughest part of the sentence, especially when they have made positive changes that they want to maintain. The Youth Justice Service provides supervision in the community right up to the end of the sentence. This helps to reduce the risk that the young person will be drawn back to further offending and in some cases to protect the public.

To prepare for release:

  • A plan is made with the young person and their family and supporters before the young person is released
  • On release the young person may have additional conditions imposed to protect the public and to encourage a good start in the community
  • Key services are identified to help the young person continue the progress started during the custodial part of their sentence
  • Regular reviews help make sure that the plan is working in practice and that progress is being made
  • Some young people may be supervised with an ISS Programme if that additional level of intervention is thought important


Missed appointments and failure to engage in the release plan may mean that the young person is taken back to court, or in some cases recalled to prison directly, for breach of the conditions of release. If a young person appears in court for breach they may be fined or sent back to prison for all or part of the rest of their sentence.

If you are worried about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person in Devon,
please complete the request for support online form.


If you think that the child is at risk of significant harm,
contact our Front Door directly by calling 0345 155 1071.


In an emergency call 999.