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The Liaison and Diversion Service works within Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust. Liaison and Diversion intends to improve the health and justice outcomes for adults and young people who come into contact with the youth and criminal justice systems where a range of complex health and social care needs are identified as factors in their offending behaviour.

Our services are delivered within Police Custody Suites, Magistrates Courts and Crown Courts across Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, Lancaster, Preston, Skelmersdale, Carlisle, Barrow, Workington and Kendal.

The key principle of the service is that where identified, people of all ages in contact with the youth and criminal justice systems are screened; and where appropriate assessed or referred for specialist assessment, so that those with mental health problems, learning disabilities, cognitive disorders, substance misuse problems, financial, housing and many other vulnerabilities are identified as soon as possible in the justice pathway. Those in contact with the youth or criminal justice systems as a result of being suspected of having committed a criminal offence are, where appropriate, referred to appropriate treatment and intervention services.

The remit of the service is to undertake assessments in criminal justice settings for persons who have been arrested. Dependent upon the outcome of the assessment, the practitioner will either facilitate the diversion of the individual away from the criminal justice system and into health care, alternatively the person will be referred on to other services that will provide support or care whilst they continue to be dealt with by the criminal justice system. We also provide court related services which offer greater support to the judiciary and access to the relevant provider services for those persons who find themselves before the court.

Our referrals are mainly received from within the Criminal Justice settings; Police Custody Suites and the Courts.

We accept referrals from any Criminal Justice Agency, Solicitors, Health Providers, Substance Misuse Services, Concerned or Interested Person and Self-Referral.

We will always share information on a need to know basis. Where we have consent from the service user, this makes it much easier in terms of what we can share, which could be a risk assessment and care plan and levels of engagement with ourselves or other services, but otherwise, without consent, we will share information based on risk and a need to know basis.

Our service supports those who are suspected of committing an offence or who have been arrested for an alleged offence to access the correct services and provide brief intervention whilst a service user is on a waiting list.  

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