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Drug Court

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 Perth Drug Court operates in the Perth Magistrates Court and accepts referrals from the District and Supreme Courts, as well as other Magistrates Courts around the State. The Children's Court Drug Court operates in the Perth Children's Court.

Other court programs addressing drug related problems are available statewide for people whom Drug Court may not be warranted.

The Drug Court aims to:

  • support Drug Court participants in addressing their drug related problems and associated lifestyle
  • reduce the imprisonment of those with drug related problems, by addressing those problems that are integral to offending behaviour
  • reduce post-treatment supervision requirements for participants of the Drug Court by having them address relevant requirements at the earlier stage prior to final sentencing.

Referral, assessment and engagement

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.

Programs

Programs currently available within the Perth Drug Court are as follows:

  • Supervised Treatment Intervention Regime (STIR) - a pre-sentence program for offenders facing sentencing for relatively less serious offences for which they would be unlikely to be imprisoned.
  • Drug Court Regime (DCR) - a pre-sentence program for participants with significant histories of offending criminal records and drug related problems, who are facing current serious charges.
  • Pre-Sentence Order (PSO) - a pre-sentence program for participants who otherwise would be facing an immediate and substantial prison sentence.
  • Conditional Suspended Imprisonment Order (CSI) - a post-sentence program for offenders who committed the referral offences while on parole or a suspended sentence of imprisonment.

When assessing a participant's suitability for inclusion in Drug Court programs, 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. A Drug Court program typically runs for between 3 to 12 months, depending on the program and individual circumstances.

On successful completion of a program, the magistrate will sentence the participant, taking into consideration the participant's performance in the program. Participants subject to sentencing in the District or Supreme Courts return to the superior Court to undergo final sentencing with comprehensive advice provided by the Drug Court to assist the sentencing process.

Contact details

Perth Magistrates Court
Criminal Listings
501 Hay Street
PERTH  WA  6000
Phone: (08) 9425 2391
Fax: (08) 9425 7777

Court Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS)
Department of Corrective Services
Level 4, 30 Moore Street
EAST PERTH WA 6004
Phone: (08) 9230 2100
Fax: (08) 9230 2101


Last updated: 1-Sep-2015

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