Criminal Justice Mental Health Team

Service name

Criminal Justice Mental Health Team

Main contact number

01782 275195

Service based at

Hope Centre
Upper Huntbach Street
ST1 2BX – click here to get directions from Google Maps

Service hours

9am-5pm – Monday to Sunday

About the service

Although crime is rarely committed as a direct result of mental ill-health, there is strong evidence which shows that offenders have complex and wide-ranging needs, including homelessness, drug and alcohol dependency, literacy and numeracy problems and mental health issues. The Criminal Justice Mental Health Team is a multi-agency mental health team which was set up to work within criminal justice settings in order to support addressing the needs of individuals with multiple complex vulnerabilities including health and social care needs.

The team carries out screening assessments in a variety of criminal justice settings such as courts, probation premises, prisons and police custody. The team’s primary role is to provide liaison between mental health and criminal justice services to ensure an individual’s needs are understood and taken into consideration as well as supporting diversion for those with needs to appropriate services to address identified needs and reduce potential for re-offending.

The team work with individuals throughout the criminal justice pathway from point of arrest right through to the end of any sentencing options, offering screening assessment, referrals, signposting and short-term support to address identified needs, support communication with criminal justice agencies and aid engagement with appropriate services.

They are a daily presence in the North Staffordshire Justice Centre (Monday to Friday), weekly clinics within local probation offices, probation approved premises and community rehabilitation companies. They provide a link to local prisons to support those who are being released from prison to have their mental health needs addressed and support enhanced risk management within the Trust.

They also support community mental health teams by offering advice, liaison and in circumstances where complexity of the case necessitates co-working when known service users are involved with the criminal justice system.

The team’s core value is to ensure equal and equitable access for our service users to mental health services to improve health and break the cycle of offending.

Outcomes for the users of the service may include:

  • Improved communication between criminal justice agencies and health and social care agencies
  • Diversion from the criminal justice system into hospital
  • Referral to other health and social care providers
  • Reducing in re-offending through enhanced risk management including liaison with MAPPA® and expertise in the use of structured risk assessment tools.
  • Intensive, time limited co-working; to enhance transition arrangements (e.g. on release from prison)