The Liaison and Diversion Service works within the secure services within Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust. The service is for all ages from 10 years old. Liaison and diversion intend 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 that offer greater support to the judiciary and access to the relevant provider services for those persons who find themselves before the court.

How to access the service

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.

All assessed persons who are in need of further interventions will be referred by the team to other appropriate services utilising existing care pathways for those services which could include hospital admission, crisis resolution and home treatment team, step 2 or 3 primary care services, substance misuse services, prison health care services, housing, financial services third sector or voluntary agency services and GP services.

Where the service is provided

The Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion Service is predominantly an agile service with services being delivered out of Police Custody Suites and courts. Assessments are also carried out in the community or in people's homes where appropriate.

  • Central Lancashire: Preston and Skelmersdale police stations and magistrates courts
  • East Lancashire: Blackburn and Burnley police stations and magistrates courts
  • North Lancashire:  Blackpool and Lancaster police stations and magistrates courts
  • Cumbria: Carlisle, Workington, Barrow and Kendal police stations and magistrate courts