Mental Health, Autism & Learning Disabilities in the Criminal Courts

Information for magistrates, district judges and court staff

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d. Alternatives to custody - Film Clip

d. Alternatives to custody - Film Clip

Evaluations of community services for women have shown that they can help to reduce reoffending, provide effective programmes, activity and support for women who offend and for women who are at risk of offending.

  • Outcomes for women who are sent to prison are worse than for those given community orders: 56% of women released from prison reoffend within a year compared to 26% of those commencing a community order; and 95% of women successfully complete their community order or licence period.
  • A women’s police triage project in Hull found a 46% reduction in the re-arrest rate of women over a 12-month follow up period. The success of this scheme has led to Humberside Police piloting a similar model for adult young offenders.
  • Women’s Centres can provide the help that women need to stop offending; meaning that women achieve positive outcomes in multiple areas, such as health, education, relationships, resilience, employment and social integration – as well as reduced reoffending.
  • HM Inspectorate of Probation’s thematic review of the provision and quality of services in the community for women who offend (2016) found that:
Women’s Centres are particularly vulnerable and some have already lost funding, yet they have an important role to play. We found cases where they had been pivotal in turning women away from crime and helping them to rebuild their lives.

Community Sentence Treatment Requirement: Northamptonshire pilot Film clip 15 (06:23 mins)

The Community Sentence Treatment Requirement Programme (CSTR) has been developed to explore why the use of treatment requirements, made at the point of sentence in court, are underused compared to other community requirements. There are three treatment requirements available, and these are: drug, alcohol and mental health (DRR, ATR, MHTR).

The CSTR programme is a partnership between the Department of Health, Ministry of Justice, NHS England, and Public Health England. A joint protocol has been developed with the intention of increasing the use of the CSTR, as well as understanding the reasons why treatment requirements are under-used.

There are a number of CSTR testbed sites, one of which is in Northamptonshire and is specifically for women. It is chaired by the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, and delivered through The Good Loaf and C2C Social Action and the local liaison and diversion service. Other partners include: Northamptonshire County Council, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, BeNCH Community Rehabilitation Company, the University of Northampton, National Probation Service, HM Courts & Tribunals Service, and the Prison Reform Trust.

The Good Loaf Café is a social business that provides real employment opportunities for vulnerable local women to help them break the cycle of poverty, unemployment and offending. By working through our structured work placements female offenders gain practical skills and experience in a real work environment. Our team is made up of paid staff, volunteers and women on work placements and we all work together, united in our passion to produce the finest bread and baked products in Northamptonshire and committed to improving the lives of those who have not had an easy time.

Alongside the clinical interventions within the treatment requirement, women are supported through a 12-week work programme, on successful completion of which, they acquire a Level 1 AIM Award in employability, a Level 1 AIM Award in volunteering and a Level 2 Certificate in food safety.

To find out more, contact or 01604 824 080.

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