Children and young people are being locked up in secure accommodation more than 200 miles away from their families, according to a damning report on the care of the youngest offenders.
Ofsted inspectors conclude that the services provided for young people in secure accommodation are "not preventing reoffending".
They blame a lack of appropriate placements, leading to young people being deprived of support and missing out on key services in areas such as drugs and alcohol misuse, education, training and housing.
Young people and their families told inspectors they had suffered "considerable distress" not knowing where they were being taken once they left court.
Unless these problems are tackled systematically, the rates of reoffending and re-referral among young people are unlikely to fall, the report found.
More than seven out of 10 young offenders will reoffend, the report notes.