Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has today introduced legislation that outlines how the re-established Drug Court will work in Queensland.
Re-establishing the Drug Court was one of the Palaszczuk Government’s election commitments, and in this year’s budget the Government committed $22.7 million over four years to re-establish the specialist court, which was axed by the LNP.
“Today’s introduction of the Penalties and Sentences (Drug and Alcohol Treatment Orders) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 outlines the legislative framework for the Drug Court and ensures the criminal justice system is properly equipped to respond to and directly address drug and alcohol use that contributes to offending behaviour,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“The Bill inserts a new sentencing option that allows a court to place a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Order on those whose offending is directly linked to their severe drug or alcohol use, which will help put them back on the right path in life, away from re-offending in the long term.
“These orders will facilitate the rehabilitation of offenders by providing a treatment regime that is supervised by the court.
“A range of conditions can be imposed on an order, such as submitting to medical and psychological treatment, alcohol or drug testing, wearing a device that detects alcohol or other drug use and reporting to authorities.”
The legislation outlines that a court can make a treatment order if it is satisfied the offender would not pose an unacceptable risk to the safety and welfare of the community.
The new Drug Court will be based in Brisbane, with referral and support services in Brisbane, Ipswich, Southport and Cairns.
“The new Drug Court will provide an intensive and targeted response to adult offenders with a drug or alcohol dependency directly associated with their offending behaviour,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“It is hoped the Drug Court will be operational by the end of this year, with the roll‑out of other referral and support services to also commence in the second half of this year.”
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath