When a youth is sentenced to time in custody, they will be placed in a youth custody centre. These centres are separate from adult custody centres. Youth offenders can be placed in either open or secure custody.
- Open custody means a youth has been found guilty of committing a crime and will be placed in a youth custody centre, but is believed to be at lower risk of causing harm to others in the centre.
- Secure custody means the youth has been found guilty of a serious offence or has a pattern of committing crimes and might not be successfully supervised in the community or in open custody. The youth will receive more supervision than youths in open custody.
Usually, only youth convicted of violent offences are sentenced to time in custody. But sometimes youth convicted of less serious offences, such as destruction of property, are given custodial sentences.