Young people in custody
Last updated 8 August 2023 - see all updates
1. Main facts and figures
- in the 14 years to March 2019, the number of young people in youth custody went down in every ethnic group
- in the year ending March 2019, 27.8% of people in youth custody were Black – more than double the percentage in the year ending March 2006 (12.5%)
- White people made up around half (50.6%) of young people in custody in the year ending March 2019, compared with 71.7% in the year ending March 2006
- in the year ending March 2019, more young people were in custody for violence against the person than any other type of offence
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data shows the average number of young people (10 to 17 year olds) in youth custody each year. It includes young people in young offender institutions, secure children’s homes and secure training centres.
Percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal point. This means some figures may not add up to 100%.
Average numbers of young people in custody have been rounded to the nearest whole number.
All calculations have been made using unrounded figures.
Not included in the data
The data does not include young people held in police custody.
The ethnic groups used in the data
The number of young people in youth custody was too small to make reliable generalisations about specific ethnic groups, so data is shown for 4 aggregated groups:
- Other (including Asian)
For types of offence and custodial order, data is shown for 2 ethnic groups (White and Other) to make sure estimates are reliable.
Young people in custody report their own ethnicity. In the year ending March 2019, the ethnicity was not known for 1.1% of young people in custody. Figures are shown separately for this group in the data by ethnicity over time.
Read the detailed methodology document for the data used on this page.
If a young person has more than one custodial order at the same time, the data counts the most serious one.
There was a decrease in the percentage of young people sentenced for breaching a statutory order from year ending March 2013 onwards. This may be because the Youth Justice Board changed the way it recorded such breaches in March 2012.
In the data file
See download the data for further breakdowns on:
ethnicity and type of custodial order over time
ethnicity and type of offence
3. By ethnicity over time
|Black||Mixed||White||Other including Asian||Unknown|
|Time||Black %||Black Number||Mixed %||Mixed Number||White %||White Number||Other inc Asian %||Other inc Asian Number||Unknown %||Unknown Number|
4. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Ministry of Justice
Purpose of data source
The data is used by the government to develop, monitor and evaluate criminal justice policy for young offenders in England and Wales.
5. Download the data
This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, year, legal basis for detention, offence group, value, number