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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

National award for keeping vulnerable people away from the criminal justice system

Published: 16/11/2018
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Our Liaison and Diversion Team took home a prestigious national award at the Howard League for Penal Reform annual Community Awards on Wednesday 14 November.

The team assesses vulnerable people who have been arrested and provides support in the community and diversion away from the Criminal Justice System where appropriate. They have been at the forefront of three successful national pilots, including employing people with lived experience of the criminal justice system and complex needs.

The Howard League works towards less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. Their awards recognise the country’s most successful community projects which help to keep people out of the criminal justice system, and to reduce the risk of re-offending.

The team, who took home the Liaison and Diversion award have developed an approach to successfully engage vulnerable people with complex needs including mental health conditions, homelessness, substance or alcohol use, learning disabilities and criminality.

Aruna Patel, Senior Practitioner/Custody Lead, Liaison and Diversion Team, said: “I am so proud of the team. We were chosen as winners from six great finalists and it was brilliant to bring the award back to the Trust. Well done to the team and to BSMHFT.  I hope it will be an inspiration to everyone.”

John Short, Chief Executive said: “Our Liaison and Diversion team provides hope and support to many local people who need it most, helping them to re-join local communities and transforming their lives. I am delighted that that this dedicated team have been recognised by the Howard League for their amazing work.’”

After accepting their trophy, the team travelled back to Birmingham to take the silver in the Team of the Year category at our own annual Quality and Excellence Awards.