Her Majesty's Young Offender Institution

Her Majesty's Young Offender Institution (or HMYOI) is a type of prison in Great Britain, intended for offenders aged between 18 and 20,[1] although some prisons cater for younger offenders from ages 15 to 17, who are classed as juvenile offenders.[2] Typically those aged under 15 will be held in a Secure Children's Home and those over 15 will be held in either a Young Offender Institution or Secure Training Centre.[1] Generally a young offender is regarded as such until the date of their 21st or 22nd birthday, whereupon he or she will be sent to an adult prison or can remain in the YOI until they turn 22 if deemed appropriate.


Young Offender Institutions were introduced under the Criminal Justice Act 1988, but special centres for housing young offenders have existed since the beginning of the 20th century: the first borstal opened at Borstal, Kent in 1902.[3]

The regime of a Young Offender Institution is much the same as that of an adult prison. However, there are some slight differences, notably the lower staff-to-offender ratio. Prisoners serving sentences at Young Offender Institutions are expected to take part in at least 25 hours of education per week, aimed at helping them to improve their behaviour, to develop practical skills for use in the outside world and to prepare them for lawful employment following their release. There are also opportunities for prisoners to undertake work in Community Service Volunteer programmes.[4]

Violence can occur often in Young Offender Institutions. Some believe[who?] that staff do not always do enough to prevent violence. Inmates are often locked in cells for up to 21 hours a day and given little tuition or guidance.[5] Three quarters of offenders released from Young Offender Institutions re-offend within a year. The use of isolation for young offenders is increasing though this is considered[who?] bad for their mental health. At all YOIs during six-month there were 306 cases of segregation lasting over a week, which is "very high".[citation needed] Gang involvement, levels of prison staff and lack of NHS mental health beds may cause the rise in segregation.[6]

Offenders undergo risk assessments to assess the likeliness of reoffending. This assessment is known as Youth level of service.[citation needed]

List of Young Offender InstitutionsEdit

and 23 which share their site with other penal establishments:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Types of offender: Juveniles". Ministry of Justice. Retrieved 13 January 2009.
  2. ^ "Young people and custody". Directgov.co.uk. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Young Offender Institutions". Politics.co.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2009.
  4. ^ "Ashfield Young Offender Institution". insidetime.org. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  5. ^ Phillips, Noel (12 September 2016). "The terror of young offender institutions". BBC News.
  6. ^ Grierson, Jamie (10 October 2018). "Segregation of young offenders rising in institutions, says report". The Guardian. London.