Reinstatement of Queensland’s Drug and Alcohol Court
QNADA welcomes the reinstatement of Queensland’s Drug and Alcohol Court (the Court) which was launched yesterday morning. The Court will link offenders whose substance use contributes to their offending behaviour with intensive case management and treatment services.
Queenslanders have been unable to access this important service for more than four years after it was discontinued in 2012. Yesterday’s launch comes after the completion of a significant review of the Drug and Specialists Courts system in 2016.
Rebecca Lang, CEO of the Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (QNADA), attended the launch yesterday morning alongside the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Yvette D’Ath and Chief Magistrate, Judge Ray Rinaudo.
Ms Lang congratulated the Palaszczuk government for both the re-establishment of the Court and the review process itself which she says was “wide-ranging, comprehensive, and really left no stone unturned. This new model will build and improve upon the model that was discontinued in 2012.”
The Court will initially operate in Brisbane but will look to expand in Queensland once the model has been evaluated and refined. A multi-disciplinary team, will work with participants while they complete their treatment. The team includes Legal Aid Queensland, Corrective Services, Queensland Health, Queensland Police Service, Department of Justice and Attorney General, and non-government treatment services.
Ms Lang continued, “QNADA is pleased that non-government treatment providers are involved in the assessment, treatment, and case management planning for Drug Court participants. These treatment services are best placed to provide accurate information to the Drug and Alcohol Court team and the Chief Magistrate about the treatment and support they can provide to clients. Ongoing involvement and collaboration will support positive relationships between the court and service providers and ultimately will be critical to its success.”
Ms Lang also acknowledged Lives Lived Well and the Salvation Army, both QNADA members, for their participation in the pilot program by providing places in their residential programs.
QNADA is the peak organisation representing the views of 49 non-government alcohol and other drug treatment services. Through our sector expertise, network of experienced members and links across complementary human service delivery sectors, QNADA is well-placed to provide practical advice and front-line service delivery experiences to inform policy and program advancement for the sector.
For more information, anecdotes or comment, please contact Rebecca Lang on 0408 669 590.