EXTRA funding has been allocated to provide mental health nurses at police stations and courts in Dorset.
The county will get a share of £25m which is being put aside to provide the vital professional support, the Government has announced.
The Bradley Report, 2009 found that the majority of people who end up in prison have a mental health problem, a substance misuse problem or a learning disability.
It also found that one in four has a severe mental health illness, such as depression or psychosis.
It is hoped that the money will help people get the treatment they need at the earliest possible stage.
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said: “Too often people with mental health illnesses who come into contact with the criminal justice system are only diagnosed when they reach prison.
“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.”