It is estimated that 50,000 people in England face a combination of homelessness, substance misuse, mental health problems and repeat contact with the Criminal Justice System.
Surrey Adults Matter (SAM) is part of the national Making Every Adult Matter programme, referred to as ‘MEAM’. SAM is focused on delivering better coordinated services and improving the lives of adults facing Severe Multiple Disadvantage (SMD) in Surrey. The PCC’s Office is committed to reducing both the impact of multiple disadvantages, and to reducing reoffending.
SMD faced by individuals in, and leaving the justice system can include substance dependency, homelessness and mental ill health. It is specifically challenging to address, as these individuals often require more than one service, and overlapping support to find effective help. This means they are at an increased risk of falling between the ‘cracks’, that may lead to reoffending and repeat contact with the police and others.
In Surrey, the PCC’s Office and partners including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (HMCLG) are working together to fund and provide specialist ‘Navigators’, who work closely with local authorities and services, to improve and influence the way individuals suffering from MSD are best supported
‘Checkpoint Plus’ is an innovative project funded by the PCC’s Office and HMCLG, that uses these navigators to offer low level and repeat offenders the opportunity for rehabilitation as part of a deferred prosecution (conditions provided in place of a sentence).
In partnership with Surrey Police, the South East Coast Ambulance Service and Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, we have also delivered a Joint Response Unit, improving collaboration between the police and ambulance service, to provide the best possible response to individuals facing a crisis.
Our Reducing Reoffending Fund supports a number of organisations addressing key issues such as substance misuse and homelessness in Surrey. More information can be found on our dedicated Funding Hub page.
“Checkpoint Plus is an innovative approach that recognises there are far too many people in the Criminal Justice System with multiple disadvantages; such as substance misuse, homelessness and mental ill health.
Some people require additional support to break the cycle of offending behaviour – which we provide through specialist Navigators.”
Checkpoint is a deferred prosecution Scheme supported by the PCC’s Office in partnership with Surrey Police and Surrey County Council. Deferred prosecution means that conditions are imposed, allowing offenders the opportunity to address the causes of crime and reduce their risk of reoffending in place of formal prosecution.
In line with the PCC’s priority to reduce reoffending, the Checkpoint Scheme has been evolved from a model first developed in Durham, and provides specialist Navigators to direct support for individuals who have committed low level offences, by providing the opportunity to engage in a four month long process that includes targeted interventions to tackle the reasons behind their offending.
Whilst punishment is an important way of dealing with crime, on its own it is often not enough to prevent reoffending. This is especially the case for those serving short sentences of 12 months or less, where over half of offenders will go on to reoffend. Equipping offenders for a life after prison, community sentence or diversion by helping them to find employment and addressing any social problems they possess has been shown to reduce reoffending.
‘Checkpoint Plus’ refers to the enhanced scheme in Surrey, that has introduced a process that will support people with multiple disadvantage with a more flexible criteria.
As part of the PCC’s focus on supporting victims, victims are actively engaged in ensuring the conditions of individual cases are appropriate, and have the option to further support restorative justice actions, such as receiving a written or in person apology.
More information on the scheme can be found here.