Saturday 30th May 2020
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Youth Offending Service, green wash

A Detention and Training Order (DTO) is custodial sentence made by either the Youth or Crown Court and can be between 4 - 24 months

A Detention and Training Order is generally made when the offence you committed is of a serious nature or for persistent offending. The Court will set the length of the sentence. The Order is split into two parts:

  • you will have to spend up to half of the sentence in either a Young Offenders Institution or Secure Unit. In some cases you may be eligible to be released before the half way point of your sentence but this will be explained to you.
  • you will then be supervised in the community for the rest of your sentence.

This webpage aims to answer some of the questions or worries a young person may have.

Where will I go?
When you are sentenced to a DTO you will be held in the court cell area. Your family will not be able to visit you in the court cells but a member of the Youth Offending Service will visit you to explain your sentence, talk to you about what to expect and any worries you may have.

They will complete a Post Court Report, which gives information about you to the establishment where you will be going. The Youth Offending Service will inform you which establishment you will be going to and let your family  members know. There are three different type of establishments where this sentence can be served depending on your age. These are:

  • Young Offenders Institutions (YOIs) - these are run by the prison service and take young people between the ages of 15-18;
  • Secure Training Centres (STCs) are run by different organisations and usually take younger prisoners or those that are considered vulnerable;
  • Local Authority Secure Units - are run by different local authorities around the country and usually take younger prisoners or those that are considered vulnerable. Only very few people go here.

What happens when I get there?
You will be taken to a reception area where a member of staff will speak with you and book you in. You will be given a prison number which you will keep throughout your time there and this should be given to those people you wish to contact you.

Any property you have will probably be taken from you, kept in a safe place and returned to you once you leave. You will then be shown to an induction wing.

This is probably where you will spend the first week or so and these wings help you to get adjusted to the regime of the establishment. You will also meet a worker usually called your caseworker who is responsible for you whilst you are in their care.

You can talk to them about any worries or questions you have.

Support from the Youth Offending Service
Throughout your sentence you will be supported and visited by your Supervising Officer at the Youth Offending Service. You can expect to be visited within the first few weeks of your sentence and at regular intervals after that.

During these visits, you, your caseworker, Supervising Officer and your parents/carers will discuss a sentence plan that you will need to complete. This will include activities that focus on your education, health, behaviour and other needs.

This will be reviewed and depending on your sentence length it will go towards the decision as to when you are released. This is normally at the half way stage but if you are on an 8-month or more DTO you may be able to be released early with a 'TAG' (electronic curfew). Your Youth Offending Service Officer will explain this in more detail.

What is it like?
Probably not as bad as you think.

It may be difficult settling in at first and each centre will have their rules and are generally quite strict. You will be told what they are but good behaviour is usually rewarded. Bullying is not accepted and those caught will be punished. If you experience bullying it is important to report this to your caseworker.

You will be allowed to have telephone and written contact with family and friends and will be told how often people can visit you. You will be able to buy toiletries and other things but this will be explained in more detail to you. Your family and friends will also be told by the establishment what they can send to you and when they are allowed to visit you.

All prisoners have rights to be treated fairly and with respect. You will have the opportunity for education, religious observance, exercise and recreation and where possible employment.

What happens when I leave?
You will be given a release date and this is when you are allowed home but your sentence does not finish here. Before you leave you will be given a 'licence', which tells you what conditions are attached, what you have to do, as well as when your sentence will end.

You will continue to be supervised by the Youth Offending Service for the remainder of your sentence and will have to report to your Officer on the day of release. Your licence conditions will be explained again and you will have to sign a Standards of Behaviour form. You will have regular contact with us; you will be told how often your appointments will be.

This part of the sentence is to help continue the efforts you have made whilst in custody and help you adjust back to life at home.

You must keep all your appointments and you must be on time. If you are unwell you will need to telephone and get a certificate from your doctor. It is important that you keep your appointments and let your Supervising Officer know where you are living, if you do not do this you risk being returned to court where you can be sent back to custody for up to three months
or until your sentence ends whichever is shorter.

Will having this Order affect my chances of getting a job in the future?
You have been convicted of an offence by the court and therefore have a criminal record.

However, this does not always mean that this will affect your chances of employment. Your Officer will speak to you about how long this conviction stays with you and will give you further information that you can keep. If you have any questions please speak to your Youth Offending Service Supervising Officer.




 Contact information

Youth offending service
Ground Floor, The Albany 4, Cardiff Road, Luton, LU1 1PP
Tel: 01582 547900 or out of hours emergency 0870 2385465
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