Mersey Care’s Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion service has been successful in its bid and been awarded the contract to continue delivering liaison and diversion services across Merseyside. Through this award they will form an exciting new partnership with Mitie Care and Custody, and will be known as Collaborative Care (CC). The service will provide holistic assessment and support to people from the age of 10 upwards, at risk, or progressing through the criminal justice system, from October 2020.
Sadie Canning-Dosser, operational manager
The partnership will provide cohesive care to vulnerable people of all ages, in the community with outreach work, and in the judicial system. Through this partnership, physical and mental health and other vulnerabilities will be examined by one integrated service so people only have to tell their story once, and their needs will be addressed. The partnership will work alongside the judiciary (adult and youth courts), police and other partners from statutory and third sector. The team worked tirelessly on the bidding process and this success is well deserved.
Sadie Canning-Dosser, operational manager said: “We pride ourselves on delivering high quality services to vulnerable people and our criminal justice partners and this award gives us an opportunity to further develop our service model, and radically improve the high standards of care we deliver”.
Mersey Care’s CJLDS was developed in 1995, to meet the needs of vulnerable people progressing through the criminal justice system. Since then the service has evolved in response to local need and national policy, and in 2014, as a reaction to the Bradley Report (2009) and later, the National Diversion Programme (NDP) the service entered a phase of radical development, growing as a team and extending the service provision from a predominant focus on adults with severe mental ill health and learning disability, to a wider focus on all ages, and all vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities include age, gender, substance misuse, being from a black, Asian ethnic minority background, housing and homelessness and having served in the armed forces.
The service covers the Merseyside footprint, engaging with vulnerable people across the criminal justice system, from point of arrest to point of sentence, and the community delivering assertive outreach support to vulnerable people within, or at risk of entering the criminal justice system. The service works closely with partners from statutory/third sector services, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Courts and Tribunals Services and child and young people’s services and is co-located in police custody, youth, magistrates, crown and complex case courts and youth offending/prevention teams. The aim of the CJLDS is to holistically assess vulnerable people, identify needs, and respond proactively to those needs through mental health and risk assessment, social prescribing, outreach support and referral and support into appropriate services, providing guidance and advice to criminal justice partners, with the intention of supporting diversion, managing risk, reducing re-offending, improving health/social care outcomes and supporting out of court disposals with children, young people and adults.