Young offenders institutions

Release on licence and home detention curfews


Courts, the Parole Board or Scottish Prison Service (SPS) (in the case of Home Detention Curfews) may place restrictions on children or young people's movements, associations and behaviours for the purpose of managing risk to public safety post-release.

Sentences of detention of less than four years

Sentences of detention of four years or more

For a child or young person subject to an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR)

Once the punishment part of the sentence has been served the child or young person becomes eligible for parole. Two years before this, the Case Manager in the YOI should begin to work jointly with social work staff in the community to make plans for possible release. The level of planning will be determined by the level of assessed risk; it could be a long time before the person is actually released, and in some cases the person may spend their whole life in custody. The difference for those subject to OLRs in respect of parole is the young person can be kept in a YOI (until the age of 21 or 23 with the agreement of the Governor of the establishment) or prison until the Parole Board believe that the risk they pose can be managed in the community.

Parole Board for Scotland

Approximately 16 weeks prior to the child or young person being considered for release, a dossier – including reports from the social work service in the local authority the child or young person intends to reside – will be compiled and sent to the Parole Board for Scotland. This dossier supports consideration of and the setting of licence conditions, which will be in place until the child or young person's sentence end date. The child or young person will be provided with a copy of the dossier and given the opportunity to make written representations to the Parole Board on its contents.

Licence conditions

The Children and Young Person's (CYP) Placement Manager acting on behalf of Scottish Ministers will set the licence conditions for release for those who have been sentenced to less than four years for sexual offences. The license will expire on the same date as the full sentence.

The Parole Board for Scotland sets the licence conditions for all young people sentenced under section 205(2) and 208 Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. All children sentenced under section 208 are released on licence, which will expire on the same date as the full sentence. Children sentenced under sections 205(2) or 208 to detention without limit of time are released on life licence.

The licence has conditions which make clear what the person must do (for more information see National Objectives for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System: Standards - Throughcare).

A person released and returned to the community but still on licence or under supervision is supervised by a social worker from the local authority where they are residing.

Home Detention Curfews (HDCs)