The institution started life in 1895 as an industrial school and was subsequently purchased by the Prison Commissioners in 1955. Two years later it opened as a senior detention centre. Following implementation of the Criminal Justice Act 1982, it converted to a youth custody centre in 1985 and in 1988 it became a juvenile centre. It is run by HMPS and has a capacity of 118. The #1 governor is Sonia Brooks OBE who has been in charge since February 2019, and is run as part of the Youth Custody Service.
Werrington has two accommodation blocks, the Doulton unit and the Denby unit.
- Doulton unit consists of two wings, A and B, with each wing split over two landings. A wing houses sentenced young people, while B wing houses remanded and sentenced young people.
- Denby unit accommodation is also split over two landings, C1 and C2. C1 contains the reintegration and support unit, while C2 holds young people who are on release on temporary licence or enhanced status. C2 provides more relaxed and independent living arrangements