A police scheme offering treatment to drug addicts instead of jail terms has won Government backing.
Stafford police station was visited by Lord Rooker, a former Birmingham MP, who heard about a pioneering project for repeat offenders.
Lord Rooker, formerly Jeff Rooker, represented Perry Barr for 27 years. He is now a Local Government Minister.
The project offers drug users intensive supervision and support instead of a prison sentence, and was nominated for a Public Servants of the Year award. The project is frequently used as an example of best practice.
Lord Rooker's visit coincided with a Home Office announcement that the Government's prolific and priority offenders programme has now been extended across the whole of England and Wales.
More than 9,000 hardcore offenders are being targeted by a range of local partners in the criminal justice system.
At the same time, around 5,000 young people considered to be most at risk of becoming the next generation of prolific offenders have been targeted by an intensive strategy involving police, schools and social services in a bid to turn them away from crime.
Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, said: "These criminals will no longer wreak havoc in our communities."