The Offender Health Collaborative, a consortium led by Nacro and comprising Revolving Doors Agency; Centre for Mental Health; Mental Health Network, NHS Confederation; Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness at the Cass Business School; and the Centre for Health and Justice, Institute for Mental Health at the University of Nottingham has been selected to support the cross government Health and Criminal Justice Transition Programme in managing the National Liaison and Diversion Development Network.
The Government has committed to the implementation of liaison and diversion services at all police custody suites and criminal courts, subject to a positive business case approval by 2014 and the Collaborative will work with local schemes to develop the good practice guidance, quality standards, and workforce requirements as well as reviewing and testing different models of commissioning and provision of liaison and diversion services. This will be achieved via a network of liaison and diversion schemes across England.
Minister of State for Care Services, Paul Burstow said:
“I am pleased to announce that the Department will be working closely with the Offender Health Collaborative to shape the provision of effective liaison and diversion services. These services are fundamental to the identification and assessment of offenders with health needs and other vulnerabilities, to give offenders the right health and social care services and to ensure that key decision makers within criminal justice agencies have all relevant heath information to make more informed decisions.
“The wealth of knowledge and expertise that the organisations in the Collaborative bring will help shape the development of a national liaison and diversion service that aims to reduce re-offending and to improve health outcomes.”
Graham Beech, Nacro’s Strategic Development Director said:
“Today’s announcement is a welcome move. The Offender Health Collaborative is excited by this opportunity to work with the Department of Health on this crucial development for offenders with mental health issues, learning difficulties, drug and alcohol problems, and other health and social needs. We look forward to developing the network and enabling early and informed interventions, based on evidence of what works, and what is needed: to promote the well being of people entering the criminal justice system on the one hand, and to reduce their offending on the other”.