Diversion from prosecution scheme

'Diversion from prosecution' is the referral of an accused to social work or other agencies where it is believed that there is no overriding public interest for a prosecution. The accused is then dealt with through 'diversion schemes' which aim to address underlying causes of offending. Diversion is designed to prevent individuals being prematurely "up-tariffed" into a custodial sentence and to stop the cycle of offending and punishment before it starts.  Particular groups are targeted by this scheme: accused with mental health difficulties or learning disabilities; drug and alcohol misusing accused; female accused; and young accused (16 and 17 year old).

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