Mental health nurses are to be posted in police stations and courts in Middlesbrough and Sunderland in a bid to reduce reoffending by mentally ill criminals.
The government is putting £25m into the scheme, which will be piloted in ten areas.
We want to help them get the right support and treatment as early as possible.
Diverting the individual away from offending and helping to reduce the risk of more victims suffering due to further offences benefits everyone.
More top news
Many areas dry over the next few days with variable cloud and cooler airflow
A dry day with bright or sunny spells. Rain comes through overnight into Sunday morning, before drier yet fresher weather develops
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.