Criminal justice

WDP work with individuals to break the cycle of drug use and criminal behaviour by engaging individuals with appropriate treatment at every stage of the criminal justice system. 

Criminal Justice Intervention Services

Our teams of specialist substance misuse practitioners work in close partnership with agencies including the police, courts, prison and probation services to support offenders in addressing their drug and alcohol problems throughout their involvement with the criminal justice system. Our work in 13 local authorities across London, the South East and East of England includes a wide range of community-based initiatives, which allow us to provide tailored treatment to offenders presenting with drug and alcohol problems. Our specialist practitioners are trained to deliver interventions for a full range of substance misuse as well as other holistic support needs (for example health screening).

We also work with commissioners to pioneer new integrated services, which offer clients a more joined-up journey through the treatment system.

Arrest Referral work

Drug testing on arrest is common in high-crime areas as a way of identifying an offender’s problematic drug use at an early stage. An adult who tests positive for class A drugs is required by law to undergo an assessment by an Arrest Referral practitioner. Following an assessment, our Arrest Referral practitioners will work to refer the person to the appropriate services, provide harm reduction advice and information on safer drug use, and support the individual throughout their involvement with the criminal justice system.

Restrictions on Bail (RoB)

Restrictions on Bail (RoB) gives the courts the right to impose certain restrictions on bail for those people that have tested positive to class A drugs whilst in police custody. When RoB is included in the bail conditions, the individual will be assessed by a qualified drug worker to identify areas of need in relation to their drug use and follow up appointments will be arranged. Failure to cooperate with the RoB order or to attend appointments is considered a breach of bail and may result in the individual returning to court. 

Court referral

Court practitioners work with people who have been charged to appear at court and who have been identified as having problems with drugs or alcohol. They offer support on the day of the appearance, can advocate on behalf of clients involved with WDP’s services and can help draw up an appropriate care plan to meet the individual’s needs after court, including escorting people directly from court to local services.

Prison Link

Our Prison Link practitioners meet with individuals during their time in prison to carry out an assessment of need, and offer advice and support in preparation for their release. Working in conjunction with prison-based services such as Resettlement and CARATs, our teams tailor the individual’s support package to ensure that they engage with appropriate community-based or residential treatment on release. 

As part of our Through The Gate Provision, we often meet individuals at the prison gates on the day of release to accompany them to their first appointment. We also advocate on behalf of those who have made progress with their substance misuse issues at court appearances, and can assist with arranging accommodation, benefits and aftercare programmes ahead of their release.

Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) and Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR) 

As part of the sentencing framework for certain offences, courts may impose community sentences of varying lengths with a condition attached to attend drug or alcohol treatment. Individuals receive supervised support packages and are able to remain within the community while they address their problematic substance use. WDP practitioners assess suitability for community treatment or residential rehabilitation, produce a comprehensive report for the court and then manage the individual's care through their treatment in partnership with probation and community services. 


WDP Throughcare practitioners work with individuals on a long-term basis, supporting them through their treatment journey and coordinating the different services and professionals involved with the client one-to-one, through structured keyworking sessions to help clients identify and overcome problems, work towards goals, build self-esteem, confidence and coping skills, and develop productive relationships with others, including family and friends.

Integrated Offender Management (IOM)

We collaborate with the police, probation, treatment services and other support services to work intensively with prolific offenders, whose crimes are the most damaging to society, to address and overcome their substance misuse. The multi-agency, joined-up approach aims to safeguard community interests and reduce rates of reoffending by tackling the often complex underlying issues that cause the individuals to offend. 

24/7 Helpline

WDP delivers round the clock telephone support for service users and their families as well as to other professionals. We can arrange appointments, signpost to further support services, provide immediate support and advice and provide brief telephone interventions through our helpline service.