Drug Interventions Programme

The Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) provides interventions for drug-misusing offenders throughout their criminal justice journey.

DIP grips people as early as possible in their contact with the criminal justice system, from initial drug testing and assessment in the custody suite, right through to post-release care and management in the community.

How does it work?

Across the criminal justice system, drug workers and police identify drug users, with particular emphasis on drug testing and intelligence-based targeting in police stations. They help drug-using offenders by challenging their criminal behaviour and brokering access to help with life skills, education and training, employment, drug treatment and housing.

The teams share intelligence with local partners who, collectively, take action where drug users don’t want to engage.

Does it work?

The statistics from 2009-10 show:

  • 9,000 restrictions on bail were given making sure drug users attend treatment and recovery services before disposal
  • 700 DIP conditional cautions diverted users away from court and into treatment and recovery
  • 13,000 short-sentence prisoners were picked up on release and managed into recovery and rehabilitation

At point of identification, the average DIP client is 31 years old; male (83 per cent); and white-British (75 per cent).

Research showed that offenders identified through a drug test on arrest already had an average of 8.8 convictions. It also revealed that the overall volume of offending was lower (26 per cent) following identification through a positive DIP drug test. Around half the cohort showed a decline in offending of around 79 per cent in the following six months.

DIP is estimated to help prevent around 680,000 crimes per year (though this number may be smaller as some individuals would have sought treatment anyway).

DIP operates in every local area in England and Wales under local integrated offender management arrangements to tackle specified Class A drug-misusing offenders. Nationally during 2009-10, DIP helped to manage over 57,000 people into drug treatment and recovery services.

Payment by Results

We are working closely with colleagues across government to ensure new models meet the needs of drug-misusing offenders and deliver Home Office crime reduction outcomes, including on the following:

Payment by Results for Drug and Alcohol Recovery Pilots (Department of Health)

The scheme will pilot the introduction of PbR models to deliver recovery outcomes for drug and alcohol mis-users, in support of the 2010 Drug Strategy which aims to create a system that focuses not on only getting people into treatment, but into full recovery and off drugs for good.

28 local areas responded to the Invitation to Participate in the pilot scheme.  The Department of Health announced eight selected pilot areas in April 2011: Bracknell Forest; Enfield; Kent; Lincolnshire; Oxfordshire; Stockport; Wakefield; Wigan.

The Home Office, with  the Department of Health, the National Treatment Agency, the Ministry of Justice and Department for Work and Pensions, are currently in a six month ‘Co-Design’ period (anticipated end: October 2011) to develop and design effective payment by results models for drug and alcohol recovery.

Ministers have agreed a set of principles which are underpinning the Co-Design work underway. Specifically, areas will pay for success against four nationally agreed outcome domains:

  • Freedom from drug(s) of dependence
  • Employment
  • Offending
  • Health and well-being

The most important element of this for the Home Office is on offending, as this links closely with our aim of improving crime reduction through the implementation of the Drug Strategy. In designing the offending outcome, we have followed principles about what we want the model to incentivise:

  • Early action on offending behaviour
  • Re-engagement with drug mis-users after they have offended, and work with prolific and priority offenders
  • The long-term, sustained cessation/significant reduction of offending; and
  • A focus on all drug misusing offenders, including those not already in contact with the criminal justice system.

Further information on the pilots can be found on the Department for Health website.

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