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Screening and Brief Intervention for Alcohol use in a Custody Suite: The Shape of Things to Come?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2009

Adrian Barton
University of Plymouth, Social and Public Policy Research Group E-mail:
Greta Squire
University of Plymouth, Social and Public Policy Research Group
Mark Patterson
Devon and Cornwall Police


Irresponsible and excessive consumption of alcohol and the associated problems it carries in its wake have become one of the key concerns for central government both in terms of community safety and public health. In response to the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England (DoH, 2007), the Department of Health (DoH) have announced a series of measures, one of which is to pilot screening and intervention for alcohol use programmes in a variety of locations, of which one is within a probation setting. This paper reports on the findings of a project that pre-empts the DoH initiatives, thus providing the opening comments in what is sure to be a debate about a new strategic and evidence-based approach to dealing with problematic alcohol use. The paper provides data and discussions on the Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) project that screened 3,900 detainees in the Charles Cross custody suite in Plymouth, England during the period March 2007 to March 2008.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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