[Oireachtas] 512.  Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the next review of the Drug Treatment Court will be published. [15622/12]. (21 Mar 2012)
512. Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the next review of the Drug Treatment Court will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15622/12]
513. Deputy John Lyons asked the Minister for Justice and Equality, in view of the positive results the Drug Treatment Court programme can have for participants, their families and communities, the measures that have been undertaken to implement the recommendations of the 2010 review of the court; his plans to increase participation in the programme and to increase the completion rates of those who enter the programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15623/12]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 512 and 513 together.
I indicated in my response to Question No. 620 of 14 September last that a review of the Drug Treatment Court would take place during 2012 as recommended in the report published by my Department in 2010. One of the actions taken following that report was the establishment of a Support and Advisory Committee comprising representatives of each of the agencies involved with the Court which has met regularly to progress and monitor the programme’s throughput and effectiveness. I have requested that Committee to undertake a detailed evaluation of the court’s operation and potential and I expect the Committee will furnish a report to me by mid-2012.
As the Deputy recognises, the findings of the 2010 review found there was some evidence that participants on the court’s programme have reduced rates of recidivism and improved health, education and social skills. However, the Report also identified issues to be addressed in terms of the court’s management and operation and particularly its throughput. As I have previously informed the House, the catchment area served by the Drug Treatment Court was significantly expanded with effect from July 2011 and the Court is now in a position to deal with offenders from a much wider area including offenders who are resident in all areas of Dublin north of the river Liffey and to offenders receiving treatment in the Castle Street Drug Treatment Centre which provides services to people residing in Dublin 2,4,6 and 8.
This welcome initiative was undertaken with a view to increasing throughput with co-operation from the Health Services Executive in the provision of vital testing and treatment support services. In addition to the extension of the catchment area, several other recommendations have been fully implemented including the introduction of an agreed protocol to assist Judges in determining whether defendants before them qualify for participation in the Drug Treatment Court Programme.
Written Answers – Drugs Courts
Vol. 758 No. 7
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
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