Youth justice transfers

Offenders aged 18 or over at the time of their offence, and under 20 at the time of their sentence, may be sentenced to detention in a prison or in a youth justice centre, depending on the circumstances of their case.

The Board has the power to transfer prisoners aged under 21 who are detained in a prison to a youth justice centre. The Board can also receive responsibility for young prisoners aged 16 or above if they have been transferred to prison from the youth justice centre.

Transfer from prison to a youth justice centre

If a court sentences a person younger than 21 to prison, the Board has a power under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (opens in a new window) to transfer the person from prison to a youth justice centre (a secure facility for young offenders). In many cases, when imposing the sentence, the court will have made a recommendation that the person should be transferred. Requests for transfer may also be received from the prisoner’s lawyer or family.

Before deciding to transfer a young prisoner, the Board will receive a report from Youth Justice about the suitability of the person for a youth justice centre and about the availability of a place for the person in a youth justice centre.

Transfer from the youth justice centre to prison

The Youth Parole Board has a power to transfer a young person from a youth justice centre to a prison.

If the Youth Parole Board decides to transfer a young offender, it will notify the Board and will provide the Board with a copy of the Youth Parole Board’s file on the offender.

Upon transfer, the prisoner falls within the jurisdiction of the Board and is immediately eligible for parole, unless they are concurrently serving an adult prison term that does not have a non-parole period.

The age when a youth justice centre prisoner is obliged to move to an adult prison is 25 years old.