Drug diversion programs provide offenders with the opportunity to divert from the criminal justice system and enter into treatment to address their illicit drug or alcohol-related problems.
Queensland Drug Court Program
The Drug Court Program is a whole-of-Government initiative funded by the Queensland Government.
Drug Courts are Magistrates Courts which deal specifically with the sentencing of people who are drug dependent and can demonstrate that their offence was committed to support their illicit drug use.
An offender who meets certain eligibility criteria may have the sentence suspended and be provided with the opportunity to undertake a rehabilitation program under an Intensive Drug Rehabilitation Order (IDRO) as an alternative to prison. The eligibility criteria and disqualifying criteria are documented in the Drug Court Act 2000 and the Drug Court Regulations 2006. There are Drug Courts in Beenleigh, Ipswich, Southport, Cairns and Townsville.
Drug Courts aim to help offenders overcome their drug dependence and associated criminal behaviour through court enforced and supervised rehabilitation programs. On referral to the Drug Court Program, the offender must be willing to undergo assessments by staff from Queensland Health and Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) to determine their suitability for rehabilitation. Once on an IDRO, a person must abide by the strict terms and conditions set by the Court including participation in treatment and QCS Probation and Parole directed rehabilitation programs.
Queensland Health provides operational, assessment and treatment support to the Drug Courts in accordance with the legislation. Queensland Health also supports the Drug Court Program by providing treatment services through Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Services on the Gold Coast, Southside, West Moreton, Cairns and Townsville Health Service Districts, and through services purchased from the non-government sector.
For more information about this program including fact sheets and evaluation reports, visit the Department of Justice and Attorney-General website.