Mental Health, Autism & Learning Disabilities in the Criminal Courts

Information for magistrates, district judges and court staff

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d. Knowing what sentencing options are available locally - Film Clip

Film clip 13 (05:38 mins)

A magistrate suggests what information is important when considering a mental health treatment requirement. An individual talks about his experience of being subject to a mental health treatment requirement and what he found particularly challenging and beneficial.

The need to focus on an offender’s multiple needs, such as mental health, learning disability and drug and alcohol use, relies on a multi-agency approach. This involves the courts, probation and health and social care services. Liaison and diversion services should be able to assist with this multi-agency approach.

Local benches are encouraged to be proactive in developing good working links with liaison and diversion staff and other local health and social care providers. For example, it can be beneficial to have close links with local services, such as learning disability and mental health services and relevant voluntary organisations such as Mencap and Rethink Mental Illness. These organisations may also have local groups or services that can help the courts by providing further information about particular conditions and how best to support individual offenders.

Mental health and learning disability champions should be an effective link between a local branch, liaison and diversion teams and health and social care providers. More information on champion's role can be found in Box 2: 'Magistrates' Association Mental Health and Learning Disability Champions'

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