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The DrugTreatment Court (DTC) programme is an intense, comprehensive, case management programme for offenders with substance abuse issues, and not strictly a substance abuse treatment programme. Referrals are usually made by the courts. Some persons may have been referred by another magistrate but may be found ineligible or unsuitable for the programme so they are not admitted.
2015 saw a sharp increase in the number of new referrals to the programme, climbing from 32 cases being referred in 2014 to 53 in 2015 (see Table 4.3.1). Despite the climb in the number of new referrals, the programme admitted more persons in previous year than it did in 2015. In addition, persons may apply to the programme multiple times. In both 2014 and 2015, one previous participant was allowed to re-enter the programme. In 2015, one previous applicant was sentenced to probation and reviewed in DTC. Of the new referrals, 19 persons were admitted to the DTC programme in 2014 compared to only 14 in 2015. Some of the reasons provided for persons being referred to the programme in 2015 but not admitted include: four offenders were referred to the Mental Health Treatment Court programme; three offenders were sentenced to probation and released; three offenders were sentenced to probation and reviewed in DTC; two persons were deemed eligible but not suitable as their criminality superseded their substance abuse as determined during the assessment phase; three persons opted to receive other sentences rather than participate in the DTC programme; and two persons remained in observation at the end of 2015. At the same time, there was a corresponding drop in the number persons who completed Phase IV of the programme in 2015 ( ve) than in 2014 (nine).
It should be noted that as of 2014, the DTC programme was revised to make completion of Phase V (a year- long programme consisting of monitoring and support) mandatory for all participants (prior to 2014, nishing Phase IV was deemed as a programme completion and remaining in Phase V was voluntary). Hence, the nine persons who completed Phase IV in 2014 and the ve in 2015 are not counted as programme completions in 2014 or 2015 until they would have completed the mandatory Phase V; only one person each has nished this Phase in 2014 and 2015, respectively. As such, since the DTC programme’s inception in 2001, there has now been a total of 33 programme completions with the one other person completing (Phase V) in 2015.
The DTC programme has not been able to retain all of its clients and see them through completion in either of the two years. In 2014, for instance, four persons did not complete the programme. One was released outright due to legal matters, one was sentenced to time served following a period of remand, and two were incarcerated. In the case of 2015, thirteen persons did not complete the programme. Nine were sentenced, one was sentenced to probation as that individual’s index offence was deemed insuf cient for the rigorous nature of the programme, and three were released as they had completed Phase IV and were deemed voluntary participants in Phase V having entered under the previous conditions of voluntary Phase V placement.
Within a criminal justice system they have long been loath to trust, non-violent drug offenders are finding empathy, therapy and support — with astonishing results.
Read more HERE.
The Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Department of Court Services will host the official opening of the Bermuda Mental Health Treatment Court Programme (MHTCP) on Thursday, 20 October.
Read more HERE.
Motorists convicted of drink-driving could be referred to Drug Treatment Court by judges for the first time after a ground-breaking decision by the Supreme Court.
Read more HERE.