The government announced, in May, that the Offender Health Collaborative, led by Raising Your Game partner Nacro, will help implement a national liaison and diversion service.
In March last year, health minister Andrew Lansley and justice minister Ken Clarke announced their commitment to creating a national liaison and diversion scheme, backed by a Department of Health investment of £50 million. Over the past year, a number of liaison and diversion pilots have been established, with a view to having liaison and diversion services at all police custody suites and criminal courts by 2014.
The collaborative, which is made up of six charities, will work with local schemes to develop good practice guidance, quality standards and workforce requirements. It will also review and test different models of commissioning and provision of liaison and diversion services.
“These services are fundamental to the identification and assessment of offenders with health needs and other vulnerabilities,” said care services minister Paul Burstow, “to give offenders the right health and social care services and to ensure that key decision-makers within criminal justice agencies have all relevant health information to make more informed decisions.”
Graham Beech, Nacro’s strategic development director said: “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 wellbeing of people entering the criminal justice system, on the one hand, and to reduce their offending, on the other.”