custody for offenders under 21

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An offender under the age of 21 cannot be sentenced to imprisonment; instead he may be sentenced to detention in a young offender institution under s 96 of the Powers of Criminal Courts Sentencing Act 2000 (18 to 20 year olds); a detention and training order under s 100 of the Act (offenders under 18); or long‐term detention, under s 91 of the Act (offenders under 18).

If found guilty of murder, an offender aged 18 to 20 must be sentenced to ‘custody for life’ (s 93); an offender aged 10 to 17 is sentenced to be ‘detained during Her Majesty's pleasure’ (s 90). Section 94 of the Act provides that where an offender aged 18 to 20 is convicted of an offence which carries discretionary life imprisonment in the case of an adult offender, the Crown Court may impose custody for life. When the prospective repeal of s 94 (by ss 74 and 75 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000) takes effect, offenders aged 18 to 20 who would have been sentenced to ‘custody for life’ will be sentenced to ‘life imprisonment’.

Subjects: Law.

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