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Many crimes are committed by people with significant drug related problems. Drug Courts aim to break the cycle of drug related problems and offending by facilitating treatment programs as part of the court process.
The Drug Court aims to:
To be referred to the Drug Court, an accused person must be facing criminal charges, be experiencing drug related problems, plead guilty at an early stage and be willing and available to participate in treatment under the supervision of the Drug Court.
Following referral to the Drug Court, an initial assessment is conducted and considered by the Drug Court magistrate to determine suitability for a Drug Court program. Final sentencing is deferred while the participant undertakes the agreed program under the judicial case management and review of the Drug Court magistrate.
When assessing a participant's suitability for inclusion in Drug Court, certain factors are considered, including the seriousness of the participant's drug related problem, the seriousness of the offences and individual requirements identified in the course of assessment.
All programs require regular appearances in Drug Court, regular monitoring (including drug screen urine testing) and participation in treatment and support services and programs. Participation in a Drug Court program is overseen by the Drug Court magistrate with the support of the Department of Corrective Services through the Court Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS), defence counsel and prosecution services.
On successful completion of a program, the magistrate will sentence the participant, taking into consideration the participant's performance in the program.
Perth, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria all have Drug Treatment Courts and the ACT just enacted legislation to set them up in the Capital Territory. In addition, there are other treatment courts such as:
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
(Generally- See Here)
In a week when drug trafficking loomed large in the public consciousness and there was renewed discussion about the desirability of countries like Indonesia softening their hardline stance on drugs, it was easy to overlook the reality that such arguments have raged on and off for years.
Read more HERE.
Our political and public policy processes and institutions have a pivotal role to play in the community-wide effort to minimise the harm caused by misuse of substances, licit and illicit.
Read more HERE.