Advice and Support in Custody and Court (ASCC)

Advice and Support in Custody and Court (ASCC)

We support you if you are going through the criminal justice system (either police or the courts), where there are concerns or issues around your mental health, social or other vulnerabilities.

You or your family can ask to speak to one of our colleagues when you are in police custody or at court. Mental health workers, solicitors or a member of the court staff can also ask us to come and see you.

Our qualified and experienced colleagues will work with you in custody or at court to assess your mental health needs and then give you advice. We can draw up a plan of action if you need urgent support and refer you to other appropriate support and advice services, usually on the same day. With your consent we can share written information about you with the court so they can take into account any mental health needs and vulnerabilities you may have.

Our service also includes:

  • Short-term intensive support to help you get appropriate support and attend appointments if your mental health needs are stopping you from doing this
  • A peer support service where you can talk to someone who has personal experience of going through the criminal justice system
  • Specialist support for women who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

Our qualified and experienced mental health practitioners are based at Taunton Magistrates Court and Bridgwater Police Station and cover west Somerset. There is a similar service for east Somerset based at Yeovil Magistrates Court.

We were previously known as the Liaison and Diversion Service (LADS) and we work closely with the Forensic Liaison Team.