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NCJ Number: 221300 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Justice Responses to Drug and Drug-Related Offending: Are They Working?
Author(s): Joy Wundersitz
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 131
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Publication Number: ISBN 978 1 921185 58 8
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This report attempts to provide some insight into criminal justice initiatives and responses to drugs and drug-related offending in Australia by giving an overview of key findings from national and State-based evaluations that have been undertaken of these initiatives.
Abstract: In response to community concerns about the link between drugs and crime and a growing acknowledgement that conventional criminal justice responses to drug dependent offenders have proved to be relatively ineffective, all Australian States and territories have introduced a range of initiatives, such as police drug diversions, intermediate court-based diversion programs, and drug courts, aimed at diverting drug offenders into education, assessment, and treatment with the intent to tackle the underlying issues of drug dependency. Police diversion programs now operate in all eight jurisdictions, while intermediate court-based drug diversions are present in all States except Tasmania. Five States have a drug court in place with only three small jurisdictions left to move in this direction. Taken as a whole, the evaluation results of these programs are positive. However, given the methodological limitations of most of these evaluations, the findings are not conclusive. This simply means that factors other than program involvement may partially explain any observed improvements or benefits. In this context, the positive findings arising from the reoffending and cost effectiveness analyses on the New South Wales (NSW) Drug Court are particularly encouraging due to their sound methodology. In addition, since most of these evaluations focused on the programs during their early establishment phases, the evaluations tell very little about how the programs are currently functioning. Given the amount of funding invested in these various programs and the importance to the wider Australian community of reducing drug-related offending, it is imperative to know whether these programs are achieving their objectives. The intention of this report is to pull together the findings from those outcome-based evaluation reports currently available to the public which may shed some light on this question. Tables, references, list of abbreviations and acronyms
Main Term(s): Drug prevention programs
Index Term(s): Australia; Crime Control Programs; Crime prevention measures; Diversion programs; Drug Courts; Drug law offenses; Drug offenders; Drug Related Crime; Drug treatment; Drug treatment programs; Police crime-prevention; Program evaluation; Program monitoring
Note: Technical and Background Paper No. 25, 2007; downloaded on January 23, 2008.
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