Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 620 - Drug courts [22920/11]

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 620 - Drug courts [22920/11]. (14 Sep 2011)

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620. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the positive results in drug courts which can reduce substance abuse and crime. [22920/11]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): My Department carried out a review of the Dublin Drug Treatment Court which was published in May 2010. The findings of the Review suggested there is some evidence that participants on the court’s programme have reduced rates of recidivism and improved health, education and social skills which impact positively on the participants themselves and the community. However, the Report identified issues to be addressed in terms of the court’s management and operation and particularly its throughput. As a result of that review an Advisory Committee was established which has met regularly to progress and monitor the implementation of the recommendations with the aim of improving the programme’s throughput and effectiveness. 

Drug treatment courts can make an important contribution as a restorative justice measure but international studies also indicate that they need to continuously evolve and develop. The aim with the Dublin Court is to develop its potential but to do so in line with international experience by continually reviewing the effectiveness of the programme to ensure that it is meeting its objectives and, if it is doing so, to continue to expand the use of the Drug Treatment Court as an alternative to prison. I am happy to inform the Deputy that, following the work mentioned above, the catchment area served by the Drug Treatment Court has now been significantly expanded with effect from July 2011 and the court is now in a position to deal with offenders from a much wider catchment 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 has been undertaken with a view to increasing throughput with cooperation from the Health Services Executive in the provision of vital testing and treatment support services. It is intended that this expansion will be evaluated as part of a further review of the Drug Treatment Court in 2012.
Written Answers – Drug Courts
Vol. 740 No. 1
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
14 September 2011

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