Dubbo Drug Court to commence next February

The NSW Drug Court will start sitting at Dubbo on February 20 next year.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said the Drug Court will make a real difference to the region.

“This is the first court of its kind in regional NSW and a great win for our community,” Mr Saunders said.

“Beating addiction and drug use is not just a criminal justice issue, but also a health issue.

“The Drug Court is proven to be efficient at driving down crime, and its opening on February 20 will be a great day not just for our community, but for people right across western NSW.”

In June 2021, the NSW Government announced almost $30 million to expand the NSW Drug Court to Dubbo, following a $3.7 million expansion of Dubbo Courthouse.

The announcement builds on the Government’s $7.5 million commitment to build and operate a residential rehabilitation facility in the Dubbo region, and $5.8 million over four years to expand the Youth Koori Court to Dubbo.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the Dubbo Drug Court was a much-anticipated addition to the region’s justice system and would change many lives for the better.

“Success in the Drug Court program takes commitment and hard work, but it is a tried and tested program which helps break the cycle of dependency and reoffending and can hand people their lives back,” Mr Speakman said.

“Participants are supported to address the root causes of their problems to beat their addiction.

“The Drug Court is proven to have a long-term effect on reoffending, and to be more cost effective than ‘mainstream’ courts.

“If we are going to tackle drug use and addiction – and the problems they create for communities – a multi-agency partnership such as that which underpins the Drug Court is necessary.”

An interagency working group, made up of representatives from across the justice and health sectors, as well as other stakeholders, is currently preparing for the court’s commencement.

A program of education, awareness and stakeholder engagement is also being developed for the judiciary, the legal profession, and staff at referring courts.

Up to 80 eligible adult offenders will be able to undertake the program at the NSW Drug Court at Dubbo at any one time.

Participants in the Drug Court will undergo a minimum 12-month program, including mandatory detoxification in jail and drug testing up to three times a week in the community, while receiving interventions to address the underlying causes of drug dependency and offending. Violent or sex offenders are excluded from participating.

2 thoughts on “Dubbo Drug Court to commence next February”

  1. Unfortunately a child older than 18 has to volunteer for admission to rehab. They often deny they have a problem but to their families they are drug dependant, dishonest and not functioning normally in the home at uni or work and in society.
    They refuse any intervention so what the families have to do is wait for them to be caught in a criminal offence before the justice system will mandate rehab??? Just not good enough and often too late and too much trauma which could have been avoided if there was another pathway whereby concerned friends and family can report such persons and mandatory admission can be given for rehab.

  2. Unless the scheme includes mentored and supported employment it will just be more of the same. Permanent full-time employment gives structure to a person’s life. Also affordable accommodation where they are not housed in complexes with other long-term addicts. Regular drug and alcohol testing and access to affordable psychological support need to be part of the treatment. The present system sets addicts up for failure. They are freed on bail or probation with no permanent accommodation, no job, often no clothing except what they are wearing on release. Families also need support to support their loved ones as they often just don’t understand addiction or where to go for help.

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