ACT strengthens its innovative approach to drug crime

Canfan 1 October 2014

Support programs that help to reduce the prevalence of drug crime in the ACT will be strengthened, Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, announced today as he released the Evaluation of the Australian Capital Territory Drug Diversion Programs (2013).

“The territory has been a leader in introducing dedicated drug diversion programs, with five court and police administered programs now operating across the ACT,” Mr Corbell said.

“Diversion programs, which aim to divert offenders away from the criminal justice system, are a pragmatic response to those who commit drug-related crimes. They have the potential to address not only the crime itself, but also the causes of drug use and reoffending.

“This system also provides offenders with the opportunity to enter into treatment to address illicit drug and alcohol related problems.”

The ACT’s drug diversion programs are targeted towards alcohol and other drug related offenders. The Evaluation of the Australian Capital Territory Drug Diversion Programs report, which was produced by the Drug Policy Modelling Program based at the University of NSW, was centred on improving the effectiveness of the programs in line with the ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Strategy 2010-2014.

“The government has used the findings and recommendations in the report to prepare an implementation plan that will guide policy and legislative responses to diversion programs in the territory in the future,” Mr Corbell said.

“The programs also have the potential to decrease criminal justice system costs and promote the effective rehabilitation of offenders.”

The implementation plan is supported by enhanced Police Early Diversion Guidelines that establish eligibility criteria to guide ACT Policing use of the diversion programs where appropriate and suitable.

“I look forward to watching the ACT’s diversion programs evolve in the coming years and to seeing the benefits flow to the territory’s criminal justice system, to offenders, and importantly, to the ACT community.”

(Simon Corbell Media Release)

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