This article introduces the rationale for bringing more closely together those parts of the Home Office and Department of Health that were concerned with policy for health and offenders. The experience of the Prison Health partnership, now entering its fifth year, has demonstrated the enormous potential for improved joint working. Information about the morbidity rates among offenders is included.The paper also introduces three main developmental projects being taken forward across the new organisation: improving the quality of health services for people in police custody (jointly with the Police Leadership and Powers Unit/Home Office), court diversion and care, and improving health and health services for offenders in the community.The projects are described and the challenge noted of bringing together more effectively and efficiently these two large systems.
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