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Armed Forces Act 2006

Section 296: Service detention

575.This section applies where a person is sentenced to service detention. It provides that he may be detained in service custody (but not in a prison) for the duration of his sentence, and that during that period he shall be deemed to be in legal custody.

576.Service detention is carried out either at the Military Corrective Training Centre (MCTC) at Colchester in Essex or in licensed unit facilities. There are no longer any service prisons.

577.The MCTC is an Army unit, but it accommodates people from all three Services and has some naval and RAF personnel on its staff. It provides a dedicated facility which holds three different classes of people:

  • people who are serving a sentence of service detention. Within this category, those who are to return to normal duty undergo a regime of service training designed to improve their service efficiency, discipline and morale and make them better service personnel. Those who are dismissed from the service undergo a separate regime of corrective training designed to enhance their potential for self-sufficiency and responsible citizenship.

  • people who are in service custody pre-trial and pre-sentence.

  • people who have been sentenced to imprisonment or, in the case of young people, a custodial sentence, while their transfer to the civilian institution in which they will serve their sentence is arranged.

578.Unit detention facilities are for those who are in custody pre-charge or pre-sentence or for persons who have been sentenced to a short period of service detention (typically less than 14 days).

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