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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion Team

The Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion service are a specialised team provided by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) to work within police custody suites, Birmingham Magistrates Court, and the community.

The team consists of Allied Health Professionals, Support Time & Recovery workers (STR) and peer mentors, who assess vulnerable individuals with complex needs who are being brought into the Criminal Justice System having been accused of criminal activity.  These needs include, but is not limited to, support with mental health, a learning disability, substance misuse, homelessness, financial needs or social difficulties.

We also aim to improve liaison between the criminal justice system and health and social care agencies.

The service provides early intervention and aims to address health and social inequalities in order to reduce criminality and re-offending behaviours.

The liaison and diversion service can be used by any individual within a criminal justice system – most commonly police custody and the courts.  Some of those people we see in court and custody are also supported by our outreach service.   We also have a new prison liaison service for clients who are seen in custody and court and then who subsequently are given a short prison sentence.

 

 Our qualified practitioners can assess people in order to determine any areas of support and make referrals where necessary. We cover all areas of vulnerabilities which include mental health, learning disability, learning difficulty, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse etc.

The team includes staff with a variety of lived experience, including people who have been through the Criminal Justice System and are recovering from drug and alcohol issues. We work in partnership with the Changing Futures Together project with one of our STR workers employed by BVSC, two peer mentors employed through Shelter and 2 staff through Anawim, the women’s centre based in Balsall Heath.  

Our referrals are received from professionals who work within the criminal justice agency setting. This includes custody staff, custody healthcare professionals, substance misuse services, concerned or interested persons and self-referral. We also accept referrals for assessment from outside agencies that maybe involved in the care of the person in custody and are aware of them being in the custody setting.

Anyone is able to access our service, there is no age restriction. The individual to be assessed must be in police custody or attend one of our assessment clinics as arranged whilst in custody.

All individuals who are assessed and found to be in need of further specialist intervention will be referred to the appropriate services. This is done by using existing pathways for those particular services. This includes hospital admission, Home Treatment Team input, primary and secondary mental health services, substance misuse services, prison in-reach services, GP and relevant third sector or voluntary agency services.

Our service can be accessed Mon – Fri 8-8pm and Sat/Sun 8-4pm.

An individual can access our service by self-referral whilst in police custody by making staff aware they wish to speak to a practitioner.

The team can be contacted on 0121 301 4409 or 07768 308222.

For further information you can contact the team on 0345 113 5000 extension 845 6034/845 6035.

Useful link:

NHS England Liaison and Diversion pages

NHS England L&D operating model

The Centre for Mental Health on Liaison and Diversion

Liaison and Diversion services were expanded on the recommendations of the Bradley Report

Lord Bradley’s review of people with  mental health problems or learning  disabilities in the criminal justice system.