15 February 2011
Many people in the criminal justice system have complex mental health needs which are poorly recognised and inadequately managed. Large numbers end up in prison: a high-cost intervention which is inappropriate as a setting for mental health care and ineffective in reducing subsequent offending.
Diversion can be within or outside the justice system and need not replace sanctions for any offence a person has committed. Diversion: the Business Case for Action, written with Rethink and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, shows that even with intensive community supervision for up to two years, diversion from custody is still much cheaper than just a few weeks in prison. And there is growing evidence that well-designed diversion schemes can help to reduce reoffending by one third.
Audience: Commissioners, criminal justice services.
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