Meeting Criminogenic Needs to Reduce Recidivism: The Diversion of Vulnerable Offenders from the Criminal Justice System into Care
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32794
Meeting Criminogenic Needs to Reduce Recidivism: The Diversion of Vulnerable Offenders from the Criminal Justice System into Care

Authors: Paulo Rocha


Once in touch with the Criminal Justice System, offenders with mental disorder tend to return to custody more often than nondisordered individuals, which suggests they have not been receiving appropriate treatment in prison. In this scenario, diverting individuals into care as early as possible in their trajectory seems to be the appropriate approach to rehabilitate mentally unwell offenders and alleviate overcrowded prisons. This paper builds on an ethnographic research investigating the challenges encountered by practitioners working to divert offenders into care while attempting to establish cross-boundary interactions with professionals in the Criminal Justice System and Mental Health Services in the UK. Drawing upon the findings of the study, this paper suggests the development of adequate tools to enable liaison between agencies which ultimately results in successful interventions.

Keywords: Criminogenic needs, interagency collaboration, liaison and diversion, recidivism.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 834


[1] Ministry of Justice. (2013). Transforming Rehabilitation: A revolution in the way we manage offenders. Consultation Paper CP1/2013. London: The Stationary Office.
[2] Hare, R. (2002). Psichopathy and risk for recidivism and violence. In N. Gray, J. Laing, & L. Moaks, Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Politics of Risk. London: Cavendish.
[3] Andrews, B.A. and Bonta, J. (2010). The psychology of criminal conduct. New Jersey: Mathew Bender & Company, Inc.
[4] Skeem, J., & Peterson, J. (2012). Identifying, treating, and reducing risk for offenders with mental illness. In J. Petersilia, & K. Reitz, The Oxford Handbook of Sentencing and Corrections (pp. 522-543). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[5] Hean, S., Willumsen, E., Ødegård, A., & Bjørkly, S. (2015). Using ocial innovation as a theoretical framework to guide future thinking on facilitating collaboration between mental health and criminal justice services. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 14, pp. 280-289.
[6] James, D. (1999). Court diversion at 10 years: Can it work, does it work and has it a future? The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 10(3), 507-524.
[7] Andrews, B.A., Bonta, J. and Wormith, J. S. (2004). Level of service/case management inventory (LS/CMI): An offender assessment system. User’s manual. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.
[8] Skeem, J., Nicholson, E. and Kregg, C. (2008, March). Understanding barriers to re-entry for paroles with mental illness. In D. Kroner (Chair), Mentally disordered offenders: A special population requiring special attention. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society (Jacksonville, FL).
[9] Girard, L. and Wormith, J. (2004). The predictive validity of the level of service inventory – Ontario revision on general and violent recidivism among various offenders groups. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 31, 150-181.
[10] Andrews, D., Bonta, J. and Wormith, J. S. (2006). The recent past and the near future of risk and/or need assessment. Crime and Delinquency, 52, 7-27, p.10.
[11] Pakes, F., & Winstone, J. (2010). A site survey of 101 mental health liaison and diversion schemes in England. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 21, 873-886.
[12] Bradley, Lord. (2009). The Bradley report. London: Department of Health. Retrieved from
[13] Hean, S., Walsh, E., & Hammick, M. (2016). Training to improve collaborative practice: a key component of strategy to reduce mental ill health in the offender population. In J. Winstone, Mental Health Crime and Criminal Justice (pp. 242-265). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
[14] Reed, J. (1992). Review of health and social services for mentally disordered offenders and those requiring similar services. Department of Health/Home Office. London: HMSO, par. 5.3.6.
[15] Carter Review of Prisons. (2007). Securing the future: Proposals for the efficient and sustainable use of custody in England and Wales. London: Ministry of Justice. Retrieved April 14, 2010 from
[16] James, D. (2000). Police station diversion schemes: Role and efficacy in central London. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 11, 532–555.
[17] McGilloway, S., & Donnelly, M. (2004). Mental illness in the UK criminal justice system: A police liaison scheme for Mentally Disordered Offenders in Belfast. Journal of Mental Health, 13, 263–275.
[18] NACRO. (2006). Liaison and diversion for mentally disordered offenders. London: NACRO.
[19] NACRO. (2005). Findings of the 2004 Survey of Court Diversion/Criminal Justice Mental Health Liaison Schemes for mentally disordered offenders in England and Wales. London: NACRO.
[20] Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research. Helsinki: Orienta-Konsultit.
[21] Engeström, Y. (2001). Learning at work: toward an activity theoretical reconceptualization. Journal of Education and Work, 14(1), 133–156.
[22] Yamagata-Lynch, L.C. (2010). Understanding cultural historical activity theory. Activity systems analysis methods: understanding complex learning environments. New York: Springer.
[23] Silverman, D. (2005). Doing Qualitative Research. London: Sage.
[24] Hean , S., Warr, J., & Staddon, S. (2009). Challenges at the interface of working between mental health services and the criminal justice system. Med. Sci. Law(4), pp. 170-178.
[25] De Dreu, C. (1997). Productive conflict: The importance of conflict management and conflict issue. In C. De Dreu, & E. Van de Vliert, Using Conflict in Organizations. London: Sage Publications
[26] Keller, C., & Keller, J. (1999). Imagery in cultural tradition and innovation. Mind, Culture and Activity, 6(1), pp. 3-32.
[27] Engeström, Y. (2000). From individual action to collective activity and back: developmental work research as an interventionist methodology. In P. Luff, J. Hindmarsh & C. Heath (Eds.), Workplace Studies, (pp. 150–166). Cambridge: University Press.
[28] Fenge, L.-A., Hean, S., Staddon, S., Clapper, A., Heaslip, V., & Jack , E. (2014). Mental health and the criminal justice system: The role of interagency training to promote practitioner understanding of the diversion agenda. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 36(1), pp. 36-46.
[29] Kaptelini, B., & Nardi, V. A. (2006). Acting with Technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design. London: The MIT Press.