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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