Custody of convicted children and young people: practice guidance

The procedures to be followed regarding children sentenced under section 205(2) or section 208 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.

Release Arrangements

64. Section 7 of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993 (as amended) makes the following provision for the early release of children who are sentenced to be detained for determinate periods under section 208 of the 1995 Act:

  • a child sentenced to be detained for a period of less than 4 years must be released on licence automatically at half-sentence, if not released earlier. This also applies to extended sentences where the custodial part is less than 4 years.
  • a child sentenced to be detained for a period of 4 years of more must be released on licence after serving two-thirds of the sentence, if not released earlier on the recommendation of the PBS.

65. The PBS is responsible for compiling the release license for all children and young people sentenced under 205(2) or 208.

  • for sentences of less than 4 years, the case will not be referred to the PBS prior to 16 weeks before the half-way point of the sentence unless there appear to be reasons why release on licence before that point should be considered.
  • for determinate sentence of 4 years or more, the case will normally be referred to the PBS 16 weeks before the half-way point of the sentence unless there appear to be exceptional circumstances for an earlier referral.

66. Where the PBS recommends early release, the child will be released on licence. When there appears to be grounds for early release on compassionate grounds, the case will be referred to the PBS under section 3 of the 1993 Act. Where time allows, e.g. for terminal illness, Scottish Ministers can make the decision without seeking the PBS' views.

67. Where on the expiry of the punishment part of the sentence of detention without limit of time, the PBS directs release on life licence; the child will be released.

Documentation to be provided to the Parole Board Scotland

68. The CYP Placement Manager supplies the PBS on referral of a case with a dossier of reports and recommendations from:

  • the relevant residential establishment or institution (covering behaviour, attitudes and response in custody),
  • the child's social worker (covering home background and throughcare plan); and where relevant, and
  • a psychiatrist and/or psychologist.

69. The CYP Placement Manager will also liaise with secure staff and social work to obtain the written views of the child.

Supervision Requirements

70. All children sentenced under section 208 are released on licence and are therefore subject after release to supervision by a social work department. The licence 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.

71. Supervision on release is a vital element in the child's rehabilitation. Social workers responsible for the supervision of children released from detention under sections 205(2) or 208 must ensure that the supervision meets the requirements set out in National Outcomes and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System.

72. Social workers responsible for the supervision of such a child must report any breaches of the conditions of his or her licence to the CYP Placement Manager using the attached form.

Revocation of Licence

73. When a child fails to comply with the conditions of licence, Scottish Ministers may, either on the recommendation of the PBS or at their own request (where it appears to be expedient in the public interest to do so before consultation with the PBS is practicable), revoke the child's licence which will result in recall to custody. In such a case Scottish Ministers will direct the place of detention.

74. The period for which a child may be detained after the licence is revoked will vary depending upon the length of the outstanding part of the sentence. On return to custody the child has the right to make representations to the PBS which may direct re-release on licence.

Possibility of Return to Custody on the Order of a Court

75. If a child is convicted of an imprisonable offence committed before the end of the period specified in the original sentence then, under section 7(3) of the 1993 Act, the court may order the child to be returned to detention for all or part of the outstanding period of the original sentence between the date on which the offence was committed and the end of the sentence. This could either be in addition to, or instead of, any sentence for the new offence. Any such period ordered by the court will be treated as if it were a new sentence and will be aggregated with any other term of detention imposed by the court. The CYP Placement Manager will inform the child of the new critical dates.




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