Until the establishment of the Boys' Training School in 1869, children as young as eight or nine commonly went to gaol.
The Training School housed approximately fifty inmates who were committed to the institution by court order.
The Training School began at the old Female Factory, Cascades, in 1869, then moved to New Town (old orphanage site).
The boys attended night school after seven hours of manual and agricultural labour each day, gaining the institution a certain renown for its prize-winning pigs.
In 1922, the Training School moved to Deloraine and was renamed Ashley Boys' Home to improve farm training and remove the 'decadent city taint'.
With proclamation of the Youth Justice Act in 2000 the facility formally came to be called Ashley Youth Detention Centre.