Liaison and diversion services are concerned with ensuring that individuals with mental health problems and related vulnerabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system receive appropriate support and treatment. In the past 15 years there have been significant changes in policy, legislation and the broader landscape in community, custodial and hospital settings which have shaped these services. The Bradley Report, published in 2009, represents an important landmark in this field. Bradley made 82 recommendations, from interventions to improve identification of mental illness and vulnerable individuals at risk of offending to effecting speedier transfers of mentally disordered prisoners to hospital. Some progress has been made in achieving these recommendations, and further investment is promised, but at present only half of England is covered by liaison and diversion services.
• Appreciate how services have developed over the past 15 years to provide support and treatment and divert mentally disordered people from custody at all stages in the criminal justice process
• Recognise how government policy has shaped the development of liaison and diversion services over the past 15 years
• Understand the impact of the 2007 amendments to the Mental Health Act on the diversion of mentally disordered people from custody