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NCJ Number: 99649 Find in a Library
Title: Public Drunkenness in New Soulth Wales - From Criminality to Welfare
Journal: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology  Volume:18  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1985)  Pages:73-84
Author(s): A Cornish
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: An examination of practice following the 1979 New South Wales Intoxicated Persons Act (Australia), which attempted to shift from a criminal justice to a welfare model for processing public-drunkenness offenders, indicated that no real changes had taken place.
Abstract: The Intoxicated Persons Act provides for up to 8 hours of detention for persons drunk in public. The detention is in a 'proclaimed place,' which may be a police station or a welfare facility for the homeless. A study of the impact of this legislation was conducted over 7 months in 1981 and 1982, with the focus on Sydney. In 1980, the only year for which comprehensive statistics are thus far available, 25,982 persons were detained under the act. Thirty-six percent were detained in police cells and the rest in other 'proclaimed places.' The police generally used welfare facilities for the old and disheveled. For those detained in police cells, their handling was similar to that for any arrestee. Persons detained in facilities for the homeless were either locked in a designated area of the facility or housed in a room similar to a hospital ward, where they were restricted in their movements. The act failed to accomplish a clear shift from a criminal justice to a welfare mode of handling persons drunk in public because the act did not clearly define the required elements of 'care'. Further, the act's provision of police detention without trial should address the right to liberty. Seven references are listed.
Index Term(s): Australia; Decriminalization; Drunkenness
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