Secure care

Movement into custody

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 child or young person. The plan for the move should include:


Staff from the secure unit should be invited to the child or young person’s initial custody review meeting and any other meetings as appropriate.

When a child or 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.