The Criminal Justice Mental Health Team (CJMHT) provides a single integrated offer to the whole Black Country population. The team comprises of qualified nursing staff trained in a variety of assessment and treatment options who provide short to mid length engagement for specified individualised plans of care.

The Criminal Justice Mental Health Team provides the following in partnership with the identified agency and where possible through co-location with justice services:

Probation – The CJMHT provides a specialist mental health assessment to individuals with suspected mental disorders that are under the supervision of probation services. The CJMHT, where appropriate:

  • facilitate referral into mainstream mental health services for on-going assessment and treatment;
  • offer short term intervention to address either to completion or in transition;
  • support the development of comprehensive risk assessment;     
  • produce management plans, court reports and co-ordinate liaison between other mental health and social care services (e.g. children’s services).                                                                                                                  

Police – The CJMHT provides an advice and assessment service for Police Offender Management Teams where we :

  • provide advice to officers in Integrated Offender Manager, High Crime Causing User (HCCU), Persistent and Prolific Offender (PPO), Public Protection Community Policing , Sex Offender management team and custody staff.  This includes sharing of assessment and held information to determine the mental health needs and potential vulnerabilities of those under their supervision, including any immediate risk, the level of urgency and the need for  more comprehensive assessment or health intervention;
  • facilitate checks of available mental health records to determine relevant history that may inform both the investigative, management and safeguarding process;
  • facilitate next steps for those with identified needs e.g. caseload, referral onto appropriate service, signposting information.

Prison – The CJMHT provides support to mentally disordered offenders in or pending prison to ensure effective transfers of care between prison and community based mental health services by:

  • Effective joint working and advanced planning with prisons (including parole board decisions);
  • Supporting those mentally disordered offenders who are sentenced whilst under the care of mental health services ensuring effective handover of care to prison based health services.  Including, where there is a short sentence, maintaining contact with the individual to manage effective and safe release;
  • Providing short term intervention to offenders not known to services but who have identified needs upon release and whilst appropriate transition and management plan can be arranged.
     

Contingent on prisons providing adequate notice, offenders will be seen a minimum of 6 weeks prior to expected release to afford time to plan and enable service provision.  Prison liaison is an area of development and pathways may alter or be dependent on local variation.

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements – The CJMHT enables the provider to discharge its statutory duty as a constituent part of local Black Country multi-agency arrangements for the management of offenders.  These include:

  • Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)
  • One Day One Conversation (ODOC)
     

The CJMHT attend meetings to which they are a named attendee and accept referrals via the usual route, marked as high priority given the nature of cases these groups are concerned with.  The service works with police and other partners to assist in the review of local protocols and procedures, where necessary.

Approved Premises- The CJMHT provides screening, assessment and short term interventions to mentally disordered offenders, who meet service access criteria, residing in approved premises in the Black Country, currently these are:

  • Sycamore Lodge
  • Bilston Road
  • Stonnall Road
     

Youth Justice Services - The CJMHT provides screening and assessment to mentally disordered offenders under the supervision or in the custody of youth justice services that are 17 years of age and in transition to adult mental health and/or criminal justice services and meet service access criteria.

Secure Services – The CJMHT has prime responsibility for the co-ordination of care for Black Country Service user currently in services commissioned by NHS England under specialised commissioning arrangements (e.g. national secure inpatient services). The service effectively affords a bridge between Forensic and local specialist services to ensure no patient’s discharge or transfer is delayed and to support local services in their risk management planning.

Mental Health Treatment Requirements – The team have a developing MHTR pathway for the Black Country in Partnership with local Criminal Justice Services. This aims to divert individuals who require mental health treatment as assessed within a legal and clinical framework of a primary and secondary care nature. The process will offer opportunity to divert appropriately assessed individuals into health systems working in partnership with criminal Justice services. This is offered across court settings for Black Country residents.

The service will accept referrals for individuals who are:

  • Adults, aged 18 or over
  • Young people aged 17 who are under the supervision of Youth Justice services
  • Registered with a Black Country GP
  • Usually resident in one of the Black Country local authority areas (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall & Wolverhampton)

Individuals who are temporarily registered with an out of area GP by virtue of a temporary placement e.g. Approved Premises and where there is on-going involvement of local justice services and/or an active plan to repatriate to local area, will be eligible for the service. 

The CJMHT is a mental health service, but will be expected to make reasonable adjustments for individuals with co-morbid neurodevelopmental or acquired brain injury who would otherwise meet the service criteria.

Individuals with a primary diagnosis of learning disability (LD) who meet the criteria for LD services by virtue of IQ would not meet the criteria for the CJMHT.

Referrals can be requested and submitted via a written form to the locality emails.

Our working hours are Monday to Friday 9:00am -5:00pm, excluding Bank Holidays. They provide a variety of face to face and remote contact engagement options.

Our email addresses are:

Dudley and Walsall:        

Crimjustice@nhs.net

Sandwell:                          

bchft.criminaljusticeteamsandwell@nhs.net

Wolverhampton:             

bchft.criminaljusticeteamwolves@nhs.net

In 2014 over 1.7 million people in the United Kingdom were in contact with the criminal justice system [1] many such contacts will be very limited and lead to no action on the part of criminal justice services (CJS). These people will have a range of mental health problems broadly similar to those of the general population with prevalence across all disorders of about 20%. However, for those who have more extensive contact with the criminal justice system the picture is very different.

An estimated 39% of people detained in police custody have some form of mental disorder and over 25% of residents in approved premises have been found to have a psychiatric diagnosis [2]. An estimated 39% of adults serving community sentences have a mental disorder, and it has been estimated that over 90% of prisoners have at least one of the following psychiatric disorders; psychosis, anxiety or depression, personality disorder and alcohol or drug misuse.

Of people detained in police custody, 10% reported current suicidal thoughts and 18% a suicide attempt [3].  An estimated 12% of people serving community sentences are at high risk of suicide. Among prisoners, 46% of men and 21% of women said they had attempted suicide at some point in their lives (considerably higher than in the general UK population (6%) [4]. Among adults with mental health problems serving community sentences, an estimated 72% also screened 32 positive for either an alcohol or a drug problem.

In 2007 the Secretary of State for Justice asked Lord Bradley to undertake an independent review of the diversion of offenders with mental health problems or learning disabilities away from prison. The Bradley Report [5] was published in April 2009 and set out the recommendations for service improvement, leadership and governance arrangements to support change. One of its key recommendations was for a national model of liaison and diversion to be rolled-out across the country.

The National Delivery Plan of the Health and Criminal Justice Programme Board, published in November 2009 focused on recommendations and actions relating to adults in the criminal justice system and committed to an overall goal of police and court liaison and diversion services being in place within 5 years.

The Coalition Government accepted the direction of travel set out by Lord Bradley’s review and the Healthy Children, Safer Communities Strategy, and for the recommendations to be carried forward into the cross-departmental Health and Criminal Justice Programme.

There is no prison within the Black Country, but offenders are generally located in a number of local prisons situated on the periphery.  Offender management is provided by Staffordshire and West Midlands Community Rehabilitation Company, for low and medium risk offenders and the National Probation Service for high risk offenders.  There are a number of approved premises located in and around the Black Country and its neighbouring areas.

Although served by a number of police stations, custody is centralised to two custody suites and the area is host to both Crown and Magistrate court provision which are served by our Black Country Liaison and Diversion scheme.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Ministry of Justice. Statistical Notice. Ministry of Justice policy statement on revisions: 2009.

[2] Ministry of Justice. Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly Update to June 2015. England and Wales 2015

[3] Kent J, Gunasekaran S. Mentally disordered detainees in the police station: the role of the psychiatrist Advances in Psychiatric Treatment. 2010;16:115-23

[4] Department of Health. Statistical update on suicide Health Analytical Team. In: HMSO, editor. London: 2014

[5] Bradley K.  The Bradley Report: Lord Bradley’s review of people with mental health problems or learning disabilities in the criminal justice system,London: 2009