The drug courts on trial

Radio NZ News 21 October 2018
Family First Comment:  A very good concept – where the law and the health components serve each other and act together to bring about the best solution.  

The Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court was started by Judge Ema Aitken, based in central Auckland, and Judge Lisa Tremewan in Waitākere.

Up to 100 people can be in the programme at any one time, 50 at each site.

There is no defended hearing for the offender. To get in, they have to plead guilty to their crime and show their offending is driven by alcohol or drug dependency.

They also must be facing a sentence of three years or less, and it cannot be one that involves serious violence, sexual offending or arson.

And importantly, they have to convince the court they are ready to make a permanent change to their lives.

But the sentence they would be serving is always hanging over them – if they consistently relapse, fail to meet their rehab commitments or reoffend, it is back inside.

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