Transforming management of young adults in custody

Closed 19 Dec 2013

Opened 7 Nov 2013


We are proposing a new approach to managing young adults that takes into account the challenges of this age group as well as ensuring they benefit from wider reforms.

Transforming Management of Young Adults in Custody

Trawsnewid y Gwaith o Reoli Oedolion Ifanc yn y Ddalfa

Many young adults are still maturing and sometimes lack the skills to negotiate complex social situations. When large numbers of people in this age group are held together, they can become so volatile it becomes difficult for staff to manage them.

If this continues, there is a danger that the experience of young adults in custody will become more about containment and less about rehabilitation and supporting them to desist from offending.

In our new framework, we are proposing that all young adults will be accommodated in mixed institutions, where resources are targeted on their risks and rehabilitation and resettlement needs.

We want to ensure that their time in custody is both safe and effective. We want to ensure they benefit from resettlement prisons and we feel that, for this group in particular, being supported as they move through the gate and into their local communities will enable young adults to move away from a life of crime.

Why your views matter

Young adults (18–20 year olds) who are held in custody are usually accommodated in Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) rather than adult prisons.

We feel the context in which this was an effective means of managing this group has changed, and we think the current approach is no longer appropriate or effective.

Please note: footnotes are contained within the "more information" boxes where appropriate.


  • Voluntary organisations
  • Youth workers
  • Young people
  • Government departments
  • Judiciary
  • Young offender institute staff
  • Youth Offending Team workers


  • Youth Justice