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Keys to diversion: Best practice for offenders with multiple needs

A large proportion of people in the criminal justice system have multiple or complex needs including a range of mental health problems. Many have repeated contact with the police and courts yet rarely get the support they need from public services.

Liaison and diversion services aim to identify and support people with mental health problems, learning difficulties and other vulnerabilities in police stations and courts. Some do this more successfully than others. This report looks at some of the key ingredients of services that engage people with complex needs based on visits to sites and interviews with staff, service users and partners of four liaison and diversion schemes in different areas of England. The schemes are based in Lewisham, Manchester, Portsmouth and in Plymouth, Bodmin and Truro.