What Age Can You Go to Prison?

U.S. criminal courts will generally only send individuals to prison (as opposed to juvenile detention) if the individual is convicted of a crime committed after they have turned 18. On very rare occasions a minor will be tried as an adult and sent to prison for extreme criminal acts.

Furthermore, as stated by the Center for Children's Law and Policy, the amount of time a minor can be detained in an adult facility is limited by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974. If detained for a crime, a minor must be moved to a juvenile facility as soon as possible.