To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to develop (a) interventions for people with alcohol problems before they commit criminal offences and (b) support for people with alcohol problems within the criminal justice system; and if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the findings of research by Professor Newbury-Birch of Teesside University, published in June 2016, on alcohol and the criminal justice system.
Across government, we have sought new ways to help rehabilitate offenders and support them to improve their health and live crime free lives. We take account of available evidence and research findings when developing new responses to alcohol dependency for people in the criminal justice system.
Liaison and Diversion services which currently cover 53% of the population in England, provide early interventions for individuals of all ages, including those with alcohol problems, and inform decision-makers in the criminal justice system when sentencing people referred to these services.
Liaison and Diversion services can help limit the number of court hearings, avoiding costly adjournments and periods on remand. Where appropriate, vulnerable offenders including those with drug and alcohol problems can be diverted away from the criminal justice system entirely.