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Working with the Criminal Justice System

Insights from our Thematic Workshop #4

Our workshop brought together 86 professionals from academia, criminal justice services, gambling harm organisations, and people with lived experience to explore the question, ‘What could good practice within Police settings look like to better support those affected by gambling harms?’

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About our Criminal Justice Programme

There are links between harmful gambling and crime, whether crime is committed to support gambling or to pay off gambling-related debts. Gambling-related offending may include fraud, theft, domestic and financial abuse, and links into wider criminality or criminal circles.

Our Criminal Justice Programme looks to address the lack of funding, awareness, training and pathways to support people in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Our priority is ensuring that individuals in the CJS have access to support for gambling-related harms, helping to reduce harms for individuals, families, communities and society.

We have developed a range of options for professionals working in the Criminal Justice System:

Access to the National Gambling Helpline

We encourage prisons to put our National Gambling Helpline on their Global Call list to enable people in prison to contact our advisers and receive information, advice and support, and to request an In-cell Workbook.

Awareness Training

We deliver a free 2-hour training session to increase the audience’s awareness around and confidence in talking about gambling, problem gambling, gambling harms, identification, signposting and referral. The training is an opportunity to explore these issues through group discussion and case studies.

If you’d like to request or find out more about our training, please contact the Programme Manager Chris Walker on [email protected]

Thematic Workshops

We run Thematic Workshops which bring together professionals in the gambling sector and the criminal justice services, with the aim of taking a whole systems approach to reducing gambling harm experienced by people in contact with the criminal justice system.

If you’d like to read the Thematic Workshop Summary Reports, they can be found here.

Consultancy and Establishment of Treatment Pathways

We work with professionals in CJ settings to identify and refer those experiencing gambling harm across the criminal justice system into appropriate support/treatment, and the local treatment pathway to embed a screening process and a referral pathway.

Where possible we will facilitate one-to-one or group support, delivered by your local treatment provider.

We are partnered with Interventions Alliance in providing group-work intervention for people in the Criminal Justice System, to reduce gambling-related harm and reoffending. Find out more >>

To discuss this further, please contact the Programme Manager Chris Walker on [email protected]


  • Support leaflets, posters, videos and screening cards relevant to different parts of the criminal justice system, detailing the options and routes into available support.
  • An In-cell Workbook, a brief intervention resource, for people in prison. It encourages the user to think more critically about their gambling behaviour. Once completed, it outlines how to access 1-2-1 support.
  • Research and recommendations from professionals.

You can view all our resources here.

Resources Catalogue

View our collection of resources for those working in the Criminal Justice System to assist with identifying and supporting people with gambling-related harm.

View here

What have we achieved so far?

Across the UK, GamCare and our network partners have been providing training, support and specialised treatment within the CJS. We currently work with a number of police custody suites, courts, prisons and probation services in order to support individuals affected by gambling-related harm. 

Our successes so far include the following:  

  • Working with operational and strategic staff in the CJS to raise awareness of gambling-related harms
  • Running thought leadership events that bring together Lived Experience, academics and professionals in the field as well as gambling support agencies
  • Holding in-person Lived Experience Forum days, in Leeds and London
  • Supporting the Prisons and Probation service in the development of their first national strategy to address gambling harms in the CJS
  • Running pilots with London and Greater Manchester Probation Services
  • Worked with the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Hertfordshire to provide a range of bespoke end to end services across the CJS
  • Won the Howard Justice League Award for ‘Organisation of the Year’ in 2020 and shortlisted for the award in 2022

For more information about our work with the CJS, contact the Programme Manager, Chris Walker.

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