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Essex Full Circle reducing reoffending

ECC Public Health Commissioner led a group of diverse commissioners across health and social care in Essex to look at offending pathways. The idea was to look at current gaps in service delivery as well as existing services with a view to improving support for individuals with complex needs and thereby reducing re-offending amongst these groups,  we know that with the right support and help people can make changes in their lives, for example recover from addictions and reduce their offending.

Working with Essex Partners an in-depth needs assessment was conducted that looked at offender pathways in police custody, prison and probation services across key vulnerable groups – substance misuse, learning disabilities/difficulties, mental health and older people. In addition, the needs assessment also looked at the potential demand for services from prisoners as part of ECC’s obligations under the Care Act 2014.

The needs assessment indicated that large numbers of repeat offences were being committed by individuals with mild to moderate learning disabilities and mental health problems, and to a lesser extent, substance misuse.  It also found that criminal justice services for individuals with substance misuse problems were well developed, for people with mental health problems less so and for individuals with learning disabilities, even less so.

A single integrated service - Full Circle - went live in April 2016 to co-ordinate support for people across a range of service needs and in a range of criminal justice settings. This unique approach is supported by ECC Substance Misuse, Mental Health and Learning Disability Commissioners, NHS Mental Health and Criminal Justice Commissioners as well as the Community Rehabilitation Company and Prison Service.

Full Circle provides integrated support across the prison, courts, probation and police custody and encompassing services for older people, people with learning disabilities, substance misuse issues and mental health problems. Full Circle supports individuals to access existing community interventions with a view to reducing re-offending rates in Essex and providing great support for a range of vulnerable individuals with complex needs.

Full Circle also coordinates the treatment for service users on Drug Rehabilitation Requirements, Alcohol Treatment Requirements & Mental Health Treatment Requirements, as well as offering Required Assessments for clients identified through Drug Testing on Arrest.

Some 96% of service users who have had an intervention with Full Circle do not re-present (re-offend) to criminal justice services. Additionally the service has achieved the following outcomes:

  • 64% successful housed/ temp accommodation
  • 33% reported improved psychological wellbeing
  • 28% reported improved physical health
  • 33% report an improvement of the overall quality of their life

(Source: Self-Reported Outcome Start Measures)

Future Commissioning

This success of the commissioning partnership has emboldened local commissioners to take more ambitious projects. Currently the commissioning group are in the process of procuring an integrated health and justice service that includes:

  • Liaison and Diversion
  • Police Custody Healthcare
  • Street Triage Services

The partnership in Essex has been recognised by central government for its effectiveness in commissioning successful health and justice pathways, and is one of only three areas in the country that has been given the freedom and flexibility to combine these services that are currently individually and separately commissioned by NHS England, The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner of Essex and 7 Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups. Essex County Council is the coordinating commissioner for this procurement.

Contact Full Circle here.

 Last updated 15/09/17