Young offenders institutions
Moving on from custody

Moving on from custody is a major life event and it is crucial that children are supported by someone they know on the day of leaving custody. Subsequently, children should be able to access the care and support they require from everyone with a role or responsibility for this. To ensure that a child’s needs are met these supports should be tailored to the child’s hopes, strengths, assets, goals, and circumstances, as well as needs, vulnerabilities and risks. This is likely to require the involvement of a range of agencies including social work, health, education/employment and training, future care providers, housing and third sector organisations. Any aftercare entitlements children have should also be fulfilled. Information should be shared with relevant agencies such as social work, NHS, accommodation providers etc. (Scottish Parliament Justice Committee, 2019).

It is important that if moving on from custody, the child is subject to any licence conditions that these are fully explained, in an understandable way to them by the YOI staff and their social worker. Under the National Outcomes and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System children who are moving on and subject to licence conditions should be seen by their social worker on the day they leave custody.

A child can remain in a Young Offenders Institution (YOI) until 21 years of age (or older in exceptional circumstances with the Governor of the establishment’s agreement). After this time, if the young person has a custodial sentence remaining, they will transfer to an adult establishment in the Scottish Prison Service estate.