The Lincolnshire Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion Service (CJL&D) is celebrating one-year of successful service, supporting vulnerable individuals in the criminal justice system throughout a challenging year.
The service is delivered by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) and Lincolnshire Action Trust (LAT) to provide support for vulnerable people when they first encounter the criminal justice system, suspected of having committed a crime.
Individuals can be referred to the service by police custody or the magistrates’ court if they are identified as being potentially vulnerable. Those unmet needs could include mental health problems, learning disabilities, drug and alcohol problems, housing and more.
Individuals referred to the service are seen by members of the team of LPFT clinicians and LAT practitioners to assess their needs. Information is then shared with police and courts to determine the best course of action for the individual and extra support is put in place if they remain in the criminal justice system or are diverted into health, social care or other support services.
Sarah Connery, Acting Chief Executive of LPFT, said: “In its first year of operation, CJL&D has shown itself to be an essential service.
“We know that people with mental health and other needs are over-represented in prisons and probation services, often due to their traumatic life experiences and marginalisation.
“CJL&D gives us the chance to address people’s needs at the earliest point in the criminal justice process and to better inform any decisions that are made about them.”
Since its launch in April 2020, CJL&D practitioners and clinicians have assessed the needs of 966 adults and 125 under-18s in police custody.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the service has only been able to operate in the custody suites of Lincolnshire Police stations in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, and Skegness, and in outreach to courts.
Alison Goddard, Chief Executive of LAT, said: “We are delighted that so many people have been helped by CJL&D.
“By supporting people to engage with services, the issues that led to their entry into the criminal justice system can be addressed to prevent them from re-entering it in the future.
“The task now is to build services that will prevent more people entering the criminal justice system in the first place.”
Lincolnshire’s Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion service, commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement, is operating seven days a week between the hours of 9am and 9pm, 365 days a year.
To find out more, please visit: www.lpft.nhs.uk/liaison-and-diversion