Criminal Justice Services

Liaison & Diversion


Liaison & Diversion is funded by the NHS who have contracted us to employ Peer Support Workers to provide lived experience in custody suites throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria. This is to be able to relate to people coming through the Criminal Justice System with identified vulnerabilities. The Peer Support Workers build relationships with the individuals and empower, support, and signpost them into services that have been identified in the community.

Almost half of the people using probation services have a drug and/or alcohol misuse need (HMIP, 2021).

Substance use interventions are vital given that drug-related deaths have increased by 80% since 2012, and the harms from drug misuse cost £19.3 billion per year (DHSC, 2021)

The wider liaison and diversion service

The Liaison and Diversion Service works within the secure services within Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust. The service is for all ages from 10 years old. Liaison and diversion intend to improve the health and justice outcomes for adults and young people who come into contact with the youth and criminal justice systems where a range of complex health and social care needs are identified as factors in their offending behaviour.

The services are delivered within police custody suites, magistrates courts and crown courts across Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, Lancaster, Preston, Skelmersdale, Carlisle, Barrow, Workington and Kendal.

The key principle of the service is that where identified, people of all ages in contact with the youth and criminal justice systems are screened; and where appropriate assessed or referred for specialist assessment, so that those with mental health problems, learning disabilities, cognitive disorders, substance misuse problems, financial, housing and many other vulnerabilities are identified as soon as possible in the justice pathway. Those in contact with the youth or criminal justice systems as a result of being suspected of having committed a criminal offence are, where appropriate, referred to appropriate treatment and intervention services.

The remit of the service is to undertake assessments in criminal justice settings for persons who have been arrested. Dependent upon the outcome of the assessment, the practitioner will either facilitate the diversion of the individual away from the criminal justice system and into health care, alternatively, the person will be referred on to other services that will provide support or care whilst they continue to be dealt with by the criminal justice system. We also provide court related services that offer greater support to the judiciary and access to the relevant provider services for those persons who find themselves before the court.


Reconnect is a sister service to Liaison & Diversion and in which we are commissioned as a key partner, to work with identified vulnerable prisoners, both pre and post release, for up to 6 months.

We identify unmet needs and refer and support the beneficeries into other services, with the aim of preventing re-offending and supporting their return into the wider community.

The service is delivered in 6 prisons throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria:

Preston, Lancaster, Kirkham, Wymott, Garth and Haverigg.

The wider Reconnect service

RECONNECT – Care after Custody is a national NHS England commissioned service. For Lancashire and Cumbria this service is delivered by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCft).

RECONNECT in Lancashire and Cumbria covers HMP Kirkham, HMP Lancaster Farms, HMP Preston, HMP Wymott, HMP Haverigg, HMP Garth and the wider geographical footprint of Lancashire and Cumbria.

RECONNECT seeks to improve the continuity of health and care needs of vulnerable people leaving prison by working with them before they leave and support their transition to community-based services, thereby safeguarding health gains made whilst in prison.