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The long-term effect of the NSW Drug Court on recidivism

Professor Don Weatherburn
Resource Type: NDARC Seminars

Professor Don Weatherburn presented at the NDARC Webinar Series on Thursday 22 April, 2021.

This presentation showed how the NSW Drug Court is effective in reducing recidivism.

Offenders referred to the NSW Drug Court and accepted onto the program were compared with offenders referred to but not accepted onto the program. Groups were compared in terms of (1) time to the next proven offence (of any type); (2) time to the next proven person offence; (3) time to the next proven property offence; (4) time to the next proven drug offence and total number of reconvictions. Controlling for other factors, offenders in the Drug Court group took 22 per cent longer to re-offend for a person offence than offenders in the control group. Offenders in the treatment group also had a 17 per cent lower violent re-offending rate than offenders in the control group.

 

About the speaker

Don Weatherburn is a Professor at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and was formerly Executive Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Prior to that appointment, Professor Weatherburn was foundation Research Director at the Judicial Commission of New South Wales. He graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Psychology and was awarded a Ph.D. by that university in 1979. He has published on a wide range of topics including sentencing, criminal justice administration, crime prevention, drug law enforcement, harm reduction and program evaluation. He has authored or co-authored 229 publications, including four books, over 100 peer reviewed journal articles, nine chapters in books and 121 reports. He received a Public Service Medal in 1998 and an Alumni Award for Community Service from the University of Sydney in 2000. He is a past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology and a member of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.