There are many diversionary schemes in place across the force, all of which have one aim – to reduce re-offending by identifying what makes an offender break the law. By finding out what this ‘trigger’ is, we can identify which scheme is best for the individual.
There are a number of different diversionary pathways.
Drugs and alcohol
- Two thirds of prisoners use illegal drugs in the year before imprisonment
- Alcohol is linked to 30 per cent of sexual offences, 33 per cent of burglaries and 50 per cent of all violent crimes
Education, training and employment
- Being employed can reduce the risk of re-offending by one third
- There is a link between offending, poor literacy, language and numeracy skills and low achievement
- Petty criminals, particularly teenagers, are diverted away from offending by being offered alternatives to police cautions or court hearings
- Many are helped to complete self-improvement courses – like the Prince’s Trust programme - and given continued support via partner agencies and charities
Accommodation and support
- One third of prisoners do not have a settled place to live prior to custody
- Accommodation can reduce re-offending by more than a fifth
Thinking, attitudes and behaviour
- Offenders are more likely to have negative social attitudes and poor self-control
- Successfully addressing their attitudes, thinking and behaviour may reduce re-offending by up to 14 per cent
Finance, benefits and debt
- Around 48 per cent of prisoners have a history of debt, which gets worse for a third of them during custody
- 81 per cent of offenders claim benefit on release from prison
Children and families
- Strong relationships with families can play a major role in helping offenders to change
Mental and physical health
- Offenders are more likely to suffer from mental and physical health problems and also have high rates of alcohol misuse.
- 31 per cent of adult prisoners were found to have emotional wellbeing issues linked to their offending behaviour