Community based criminal justice services
What are Community based criminal justice services?
WDP provides a wide range of community based criminal justice services and delivers the government’s Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) in 13 local authorities across London and the south-east of England. Established in 2003, DIP forms an important part of the government’s strategy for tackling drugs and crime, aiming to break the cycle of drug use and offending behaviour by engaging drug users into appropriate treatment and support at various points within the criminal justice system.
WDP’s substance misuse practitioners work in partnership with the police, court, prison and probation services to provide opportunities for people to address their drug and alcohol problems from the point of arrest through to sentence and beyond. We also work closely with commissioners to pioneer new integrated services which offer clients a more joined-up journey through the treatment system.
Our criminal justice programme includes the following services:
- Arrest Referral work
Arrest Referral practitioners meet drug users when a person is arrested and taken into a police station. Depending on the nature of the offence, many detainees are tested for class A drugs and are required by law to undergo an assessment of their needs by our Arrest Referral practitioners. Following an assessment, our practitioners will work to refer the person to appropriate services, provide harm reduction advice and information on safer drug use, and support the client during their time within the Criminal Justice System.
- Court referral
Court practitioners work with people who have been charged to appear at court and who have been identified as having problems with drugs or alcohol. They offer support on the day of the appearance, can advocate on behalf of clients involved with WDP’s services and can help draw up an appropriate care plan to meet clients’ needs after court – even escorting people to local services straight from court.
- Prison Link
Prison Link practitioners meet with clients while they are in prison to carry out assessments of need, offer advice and support and help them prepare for release. WDP works in conjunction with services within the prison such as Resettlement and CARATs (prison based drug workers) to develop support packages for clients due for release so they can access the community based or residential treatment they want. Our practitioners often meet people at the prison gates on the day of release and accompany someone to their first appointment. We also advocate on behalf of clients that have made progress with their substance misuse issues at court appearances and can assist with setting up accommodation, benefits, training etc. in time for their release.
- Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR)
As part of the sentencing framework for certain offences, courts are able to impose community sentences of varying lengths with a condition to attend drug treatment attached. This can be an effective way of addressing problematic substance misuse and provide an opportunity for an individual to remain in the community and receive a supervised support package. WDP practitioners assess clients’ suitability for a community treatment or residential rehabilitation, produce a comprehensive report for the court and then manage the client’s care through their treatment in partnership with probation and community services.
- Restrictions on Bail (ROB)
Restrictions on Bail (ROB) gives the courts the right to impose certain restrictions on bail on those people that have tested positive to class A drugs whilst in police custody. When ROB is included in the bail conditions, the individual will be assessed by a qualified drug worker to identify areas of need in relation to their drug misuse and follow up appointments will be arranged. If a client fails to co-operate with the RoB order or to attend appointments, they would be considered to be in breach of bail and may be taken back to court as a result.
In addition to engaging clients at first point of contact throughout the criminal justice system, WDP Throughcare practitioners work with individuals on a long term basis, supporting them through their treatment journey and coordinating the different services and professionals involved with the client One-to-one structured keyworking sessions help clients to identify and overcome problems, work towards goals, build self-esteem, confidence and coping skills, and develop productive relationships with others, including family members and friends.
- Prolific and Priority Offenders
WDP works within dedicated teams in many areas to prevent some of the most problematic crime by working intensively with identified ‘prolific offenders’ to address and overcome their substance misuse. In collaboration with the police, probation, treatment services and other support services, individuals are provided with the means to address their substance misuse and the often complex issues that underpin their offending behaviour.
For information about UK Drug Laws, click on the following link: http://www.drugscope.org.uk/resources/faqs/faqpages/what-are-the-uk-drug-laws.html
Where WDP provides DIP/Criminal Justice services:
Counties (in the South East of England)