West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion has a well-established female pathway which is nationally recognised, as an example of good working practice. Our service has a team of dedicated female specialist practitioners, with a representative in each of the locality teams.
Our female practitioners also use the local Women’s Centres as an outreach basis to ensure women are seen in a safe, women only, environment and use a trauma informed approach when assessing the holistic needs of women. This also gives them the opportunity to introduce women to the interventions available within the Centres to help divert them away from the criminal justice system.
A gender specific pathway to support women referred into the service was developed in response to results from research highlighted in the Cortson report, and our experience to date. The research stated that women in contact with the criminal justice system respond better within female focused environments, and that the nature of the offences committed by females – and the reasons behind these offences – are often quite different to those of males.