The Scottish Government is committed to young people (aged 16 and 17) serving their sentence or as much of this as possible in secure care rather than custody.
The transition from secure care to custody can be unsettling. It is important to plan the move and schedule it for the most appropriate time for the young person. The plan for the move should include:
- Ensuring the young person knows where they are going and what will happen when they get there
- Information on changes to structures and routines, e.g. staffing, pocket money, family contact
- Ensuring a pre-transition review meeting takes place and that the identified hall manager or Personal Officer from Scottish Prison Service (SPS) attends this young person’s reviews prior to moving to give and receive information including about the Young Offenders Institution (YOI)
- If appropriate, arranging for the young person and family members to visit the YOI before moving
- Providing the YOI with full information and documentation about the young person (Scottish Government, 2011)
Staff from the secure unit should be invited to the young person’s initial custody review meeting and any other meetings as appropriate.
When a young person discloses they have previously been in secure care but entered custody from the community, YOI staff should contact the relevant secure unit, with the young person’s consent, for information and previous reports to inform assessment and planning.
Family members may have questions or concerns and may not know who to ask. Justice professionals or staff in the secure unit are not always best placed to answer these questions, although they should seek to do so as far as possible (Malloch, 2013). Families Outside can provide support.
Resources for this page
- Malloch, M. (2013). In Their Own Right: Support for families with a young person in secure accommodation. Edinburgh: Families Outside.
- Malloch, M. (2014). In Brief In Their Own Right: Support for families with a young person in secure accommodation. Edinburgh: Families Outside.
- Scottish Government. (2011). Reintegration and Transitions – Guidance for Local Authorities, Community Planning Partnerships and Service Providers. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.