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Young people and the law

Listing page 1

Children in custody  Task

In England and Wales, individuals under 18 who are sentenced to custody are sent to secure centres for children, not adult prisons. The reason for a child being sent to custody is if the offence is serious enough that a fine or community sentence cannot be justified. A child may also be sent to custody on remand. The Youth Custody Service will determine which centre the child is sent to, taking into consideration an assessment by the Youth Justice Service, the child’s needs, and their age and gender. The chosen centre will be the one best suited for caring for the child and closest to their home. Note that youth justice systems may differ in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

How are we helping young people to avoid radicalisation?  Task

Radicalisation is the process by which a person becomes supportive of terrorism and forms of extremism which results in terrorism.  

How are we supporting children and young people at risk of, or involved in, gang violence?  Task

A gang can mean different things in different situations. It isn’t illegal to be in a gang unless the gang is involved in illegal activity.

Secure Children’s Home (SCH) Finder  Task

There are 14 individually managed Secure Children’s Homes throughout England and Wales encompassing a range of services within a secure environment that support the individual needs of the children in its care. They provide placements for boys and girls aged between 10 and 17 and include full residential care, educational facilities and healthcare provision.

What happens in a youth court?  Task

A youth court is a type of magistrates’ court for young people between 10 and 17 years of age. A magistrate is a volunteer from the local area who is trained to deal with less serious criminal cases.

What is a Detention and Training Order? (DTO)?  Task

A Detention and Training Order (DTO) is a custodial sentence given by a Youth Magistrate or Crown Court for people aged 12-17 years. A DTO is used when young people commit a serious offence or a number of offences.  It is classed as a conviction and recorded on the Police National Computer.  The aim of a DTO is that upon completion, young people are helped to stop offending through training and education.

What support is given to children and young people who are arrested?  Task

The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10 years old. This means that children under 10 can’t be arrested or charged with a crime. 

When will a young person be given a custodial sentence?  Task

People under 18 get different sentences from adults depending on the crime committed. These include discharges, fines, referral orders, youth rehabilitation orders and custodial sentences.