We work to improve the use and effectiveness of pre-court diversion to keep communities safer.
Diversion is a way of addressing low-level criminal behaviour, ensuring that people are given a proportionate resolution and, where appropriate, avoiding putting people through the formal criminal justice processing (either through out of court disposals or prosecution) that can result in a criminal record. Smart use of these schemes can create better outcomes for those diverted and keep communities safer.
Point of arrest diversion is especially important for children. Formal justice system processing, either prosecution in court or out of court disposals, can result in a criminal record, and can actually increase the likelihood of reoffending.We are actively working with Youth Offending Teams, police, and others across the country to support them in demonstrating and valuing the impact of their diversion work, and in spreading effective practice.
Similarly, pre-court diversion schemes for adults are becoming more widespread. They have usually been used with distinct groups of offenders, for example vulnerable women or those with problematic drug and alcohol use. We are actively working with the police and others across the country to support them in developing evidence-led pre-court diversion for adult offenders.
The purpose of this briefing is to summarise the evidence to date on the impact of pre-court diversion for adults and to draw out some promising practice principles for those working in pre-court diversion schemes.