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Community treatment pilots launches to stop reoffenders

PICTURED: Justice Secretary David Gauke

VULNERABLE OFFENDERS in the criminal justice system will be offered targeted treatment under new plans designed to boost rehabilitation and reduce re-offending announced by the government today (20 June 2019).

Where appropriate, through the new pilots more offenders will be diverted towards community sentences in where they will receive treatment for mental health, drug or alcohol issues, often deemed to be the root cause of offending behaviour.

Pilots have already seen an almost 250% increase in those referred for mental health treatment within 18 months and a higher rate of compliance with the terms of an order, just 8% failed to comply with their requirements. The approach will now be rolled out to new sites in London and Greater Manchester.

This focus on ensuring people get the right care, at the right time, in the right setting will be integral to the forthcoming Health and Justice Plan, announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Justice Secretary David Gauke today. This comes 10 years on from the landmark Bradley Report, which set out a comprehensive plan to reduce reoffending and improve public health for vulnerable offenders.

Justice Secretary David Gauke said: "Providing targeted, tailored and timely mental health and addiction treatment for vulnerable offenders across the country will help cut reoffending - saving taxpayers’ money and making our communities safer.

"We will support agencies across health and justice to work more closely together to ensure offenders have the right support and to build greater confidence in community sentences.

"This is just the start of our shared vision to reshape offender health and strengthen community sentences, ultimately improving rehabilitation and breaking the cycle of offending."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Addressing prisoners’ physical and mental health needs early on can help tackle the root cause of their criminality and steer them away from the path of reoffending. It is crucial the health and justice systems work together to provide the best possible care for prisoners.

"Today’s announcements demonstrate our commitment to giving people the support and treatment they need to live healthy lives in prison and reintegrate into society when the time comes."

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