Specialist drug court legislation welcomed

Legislation introduced in the Victorian parliament today to expand the Drug Court, which has been running from Dandenong and Melbourne magistrates courts, to Shepparton, Ballarat and the County Court has been welcomed by the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“Therapeutic justice works – it reduces recidivism and is better for community safety,” said Mr Greg Barns, national criminal justice spokesperson, ALA.

“Jailing people with addiction does not resolve the core issues. Addiction programs in prisons are ‘one size fits all’ and often have long waiting lists.

“We welcome the expansion of this specialist drug court in Victoria. However, we continue to argue that the decriminalisation of the possession and use of drugs, as recently recommended by both the Queensland Productivity Commission and NSW Ice Inquiry, is a better solution.

“The criminal justice system carries the major burden of drug policy in Australia, and there is clear evidence that this punitive approach to managing the issue is not working.”

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