New Diversionary scheme reduces reoffending for vulnerable women

In August 2018 Footprints were approached by the Police to help design a new Out of Court Diversionary scheme for women. The scheme sees women who have been arrested for the first time and assessed as vulnerable under PACE receiving a caution and engaging with the project for 16 weeks instead of progressing to court.

Women are given one-to-one support, signposted and engaged in local services.

The scheme was funded for a pilot year by the Dorset PCC and went live in April 2019.

Preliminary reoffending data is now available for the first cohort of 18 women who completed the caution 6 months ago. Data shows that to date none of the women have reoffended against a control group with a reoffending rate of 15%.

"From our first meeting I have achieved all my goals and Sharon has listened to me and helped me progress" OOCD Participant

62 women have been offered the caution and over 80% have successfully completed the requirements. The pilot is due to finish in March 2020, but we hope the preliminary data will convince funders to extend the pilot for a further year.

A review of the scheme has been included in this Centre for Justice innovation briefing.