Evaluation of ACT drug diversion programs
Drug diversion is one of the most utilised policy interventions in responding to drug and drug-related offenders in Australia and is used to divert alcohol and other drug (AOD) offenders away from the traditional criminal justice response and/or into drug education and treatment.
In 2012 ACT Health commissioned the Drug Policy Modelling Program to evaluation of the five different programs of the ACT alcohol and other drug diversion system.
The evaluation identified many strength of the ACT diversion system, including a breadth of diversionary options, a high rate of referrals and treatment assessment and completion for most programs and the adaptability of the system/system players to perceived gaps/needs. But it also identified opportunities for improvement, including the need for clearer direction for the system, instances of program creep/resource wastage and that a number of sub-groups of AOD offenders were being excluded from the diversion system.
In October 2014 the ACT Attorney General announced reforms to the ACT police and court diversion system, including the development of a new ACT Police and Court Drug Diversion Strategy and prioritising space for AOD assessments of drug and drug-related offenders in the courts.
Caitlin Hughes, Marian Shanahan, Alison Ritter, David McDonald, Florence Gray-Weale. (2014). Evaluation of Australian Capital Territory Drug Diversion Programs. Drug Policy Modelling Program, December 2014.For full report click here.