Diversion is a key element of a more effective approach for young adults in the criminal justice process

23 May 2012

“When young people first get into trouble with the police there are early opportunities to either divert them away from the system and towards effective interventions, treatment or support, or towards restorative interventions.“ Centre for Mental Health Chief Executive Sean Duggan said today, responding to the publications of a new report by The Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Alliance.

The report, Ten steps to a more effective approach for young adults in the criminal justice process, sets out ten recommendations for a more effective approach for young adults in the criminal justice process. It calls for a greater number of liaison and diversion services to divert young people with mental health problems towards treatment, and for better arrangements to be put in place to manage the transition between child and adult services for vulnerable young people.

“Children and young adults have very distinct requirements, and it’s important to remember that children’s mental health needs present themselves differently to those of adults. We know that children and young adults who end up in custody are three times more likely to have mental health problems than those who do not.”

“Diverting young people into appropriate treatment at an early stage in the criminal justice process will not only reduce offending, but reduce later demand in acute services.

“We welcome the recognition in this report of the particular challenges faced by young people as they transfer from child related to adult services.”