GamCare to expand specialised support for the Criminal Justice System

GamCare is ready to undertake a critical project in relation to improving problem gambling treatment support across the UK’s penal systems. 

The Charity has secured two-years funding to scale up the delivery of its ‘Nationwide Programme’, in which it plans to expand treatment and the pathways to support, made available within the UK Criminal Justice System (CJS).

GamCare has long maintained that links between gambling harms and crime have been under-recognised, with CJS staff and offenders requiring greater support to aid rehabilitation.

The new initiative follows a two-year pilot project funded by the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner to introduce screening for gambling harms at key points across its penal regime, helping identify the best mechanisms to deliver support for those affected.

“As outlined in our recent submission to the Howard League Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling, our work focuses on a ‘whole systems’ approach – with initiatives to screen people at arrest and the early stages of the CJS, and responding to needs at various stages in their journey, be it through police, prison, or probation services as well as the courts,” said Anna Hemmings, CEO at GamCare.

For a number of years, GamCare has worked with penal reform charity The Howard League, urging UK judiciaries and relevant authorities to recognise problem gambling as a mental health disorder in which can drive victims towards crime.

GamCare’s work within the CJS saw it recognised as one of the most effective charities and organisations tackling the complexities that affect people caught up in the criminal justice system (CJS).

GamCare’s new project has been approved by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), helping expand the objectives of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms through a dedicated programme focused on gambling and the criminal justice system.

“We welcome the extension of this significant project, including the collaborative approach GamCare has taken to support a wide range of organisations working in the criminal justice sector,” said Tim Miller, Executive Director for the Gambling Commission. 

“Together, these programmes of work have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to reducing harms as part of the National Strategy. We are pleased to be able to approve the funding, which was agreed through regulatory settlements.”

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