New drug court unveiled

By October 19, 2011 Recent News

Stuff 19 October 2011
A pilot drug court to deal with offenders with severe alcohol and drug addiction will be established.

The trial and analysis of such a court was recommended by the Law Commission when it reviewed the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Justice Minister Simon Power and Courts Minister Georgina te Heuheu announced the pilot would go ahead in Auckland and would be up and running by late next year.

It will deal with approximately 100 offenders a year and treatment-related costs were expected to be $2 million annually.

The court will adjourn and defer sentencing while offenders undertake treatment.

Power said it would give offenders with severe addiction problems a chance to break the cycle of substance abuse.

“It will be an option for offenders, including recidivist drink-drivers, who plead guilty to an offence where alcohol or drugs have been a contributing factor, and where there is a serious penalty, such as a term of imprisonment of up to 3 years.”

Offenders will be required to attend a treatment programme, be subject to random drug testing and attend court regularly.