Skip to content Skip to main menu Skip to utility menu

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.

The Court sentence will be between four months and two years.  Half the DTO sentence will be spent in a Detention and Training Centre (DTC) the remaining sentence will be supervised by the Youth Offending Team in the community.  The Detention Centre will usually be a Secure Training Centre for 12-14-year olds and a Young Offenders Institution for 15-17-year olds.

On deciding the sentence, the Court will have taken into consideration any days spent in police custody or on secure remand.  The DTC will not take any more time off the sentence.

When sentenced the young person will be held in the Court cells, a member of the Youth Offending Team may visit to explain the sentence and talk through any worries and what to expect at the DTC.  They will be told the name and location of the DTC before being moved there.  Information of visiting arrangements will be given upon arrival at the DTC and parents/relatives/carers are encouraged to visit. 

The DTO sentence can be appealed and a solicitor would normally deal with this.  The appeal process must be started within 21 days and the DTC will have the necessary appeal forms or letters to send to the solicitor.  On appeal, the Court may give a longer, shorter, or different sentence.

Whilst at the DTC the young person will be seen regularly by a Youth Offending worker, either a Probation Officer, Social Worker, or another Team member.  They will work with them and their parents/carers to establish training targets and how these can be achieved.  The targets need to be met and will be reviewed regularly.  Training targets may include helping control anger, difficulties in relationships with parents or other people.  Also, misuse of drugs or alcohol, and how to access education and work.  The targets may also consider understanding the effect of crime on its victims.  

Approximately halfway through the DTO the offender will be released and may have an electronic curfew (a tag).  The Youth Offending Team will explain this.  They will continue to be supervised by the Youth Offending team until the end of the DTO. The Youth Offending Team will continue to support them with their set training targets and help to stay out of trouble.  It is important to keep these appointments and let the Team know if they cannot be kept, as they may be fined or returned to custody for 3 months. They also need to know where the offender is living. 

If they re-offend during this time, they may be recalled to the DTC for the rest of the DTO, as well as any new sentence for the latest offence.