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NCJ Number: 66426 Find in a Library
Title: DRUG PROSECUTION IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Author(s): S COLE; W HEINE
Corporate Author: Royal Cmssn Into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs
Australia
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 118
Sponsoring Agency: Royal Cmssn Into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs
Adelaide 5001, Australia
Sale Source: Royal Cmssn Into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs
GPO Box 221
Adelaide 5001,
Australia
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: DRUG LEGISLATION AND STATISTICS ON DRUG OFFENDERS AND THEIR PENALITIES IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA ARE PRESENTED AND ANALYZED; COURT TRENDS IN DRUG OFFENSE CONVICTIONS ARE INDICATED.
Abstract: DRUG OFFENSE LAWS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA COVER TRAFFICKERS, USERS, AND ADDICTS. DIFFERENT SENTENCING PRINCIPLES APPLY TO EACH CATEGORY, ALTHOUGH PROBLEMS ARISE WHEN AN OFFENDER FITS MORE THAN ONE CATEGORY. DRUG TRAFFICKERS DEALING IN MORE HARMFUL DRUGS RECEIVE THE MOST SEVERE PENALTIES, WHILE TRAFFICKERS SUPPLYING ACQUAINTANCES ARE TREATED MORE LENIENTLY THAN COMMERCIAL TRAFFICKERS, WHO MAY EXPECT CUSTODIAL SENTENCES. ALTHOUGH PARLIAMENT PROVIDES SEVERE PENALTIES FOR DRUG DISTRIBUTION, FINES FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING ARE NOT UNCOMMON. DRUG USERS ARE DEALT WITH LESS SEVERELY THAN TRAFFICKERS AND APPEAR BEFORE LOWER COURTS; SMALL FINES ARE COMMON PENALTIES. PREVIOUS USER CONVICTIONS ESCALATE PUNISHMENTS, HOWEVER. WHEN A CASE INVOLVES ADDICTS, COURTS TRY TO SECURE AND MANDATE TREATMENT RATHER THAN TO LEVY FINES OR PRISON SENTENCES. A STUDY OF DRUG OFFENDERS AND CHARGES AGAINST THEM, MADE USING INFORMATION CULLED FROM THE FILES OF METROPOLITAN AND MAJOR NONMETROPOLITAN COURTS FOR 1974-1977, SHOWED THAT THE NUMBER OF PERSONS BEING CHARGED FOR DRUG OFFENSES INCREASED SEVENFOLD DURING THIS PERIOD. IT IS NOT KNOWN, HOWEVER, IF THIS REFLECTS POLICE APPREHENSION OR DRUG USE AND TRAFFICKING INCREASES. HOWEVER, THE PROPORTION OF PERSONS CHARGED IN EACH OF THE THREE CATEGORIES HAS NOT CHANGED. MOST DRUG CHARGES FOR ALL YEARS WERE FOR MARIHUANA, AND NARCOTICS CHARGES HAVE DROPPED FROM 8 PERCENT IN 1974 TO 5 PERCENT IN 1977. THAT PRISON SENTENCES FOR DRUG CHARGES HAVE DECREASED FROM 8 TO 2 PERCENT FROM 1974 TO 1977, DESPITE A STABLE RATE OF CONVICTIONS, INDICATES THAT COURT LENIENCY IS GROWING. JUDGES INCREASINGLY PREFER FINES TO SENTENCES AND LIGHT TO HEAVY SENTENCES. MALE DRUG OFFENDERS OUTNUMBER FEMALE EIGHT TO ONE. INFORMATION IS ALSO PRESENTED ON THE PERCENTAGE OF DRUG CHARGES HEARD IN THE VARIOUS COURTS, LEGAL REPRESENTATION, AND DRUG SOURCES. REFERENCES, TABLES, AND APPENDIXES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Australia; Crime Statistics; Drug law enforcement; Drug law offenses
Note: RESEARCH PAPER N 2
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66426

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