February 18, 2014


Treatment Intervention Program and Drug Court Program

What is it?

The Intervention Programs are run in a specialist court and are not heard with the general criminal listings. The term “intervention program” is defined by legislation[1] as a program that provides supervised treatment, supervised rehabilitation, supervised behaviour management and/or supervised access to support services.

Why does it exist?

The Program is based on research and aims to address the underlying causes of crime prior to sentencing in an effort to reduce the risk of re-offending for participants.

How does it work?

The Treatment Intervention Court offers different treatment and intervention streams determined by the assessment process (see below). There are streams for defendants with substance use issues only; with mental health problems only; and a stream for defendants with a combination of both substance use issues and mental health problems.

Once accepted onto the Treatment Intervention Court a participant must follow a treatment plan which is specially designed for their needs and monitored by a Court appointed Case Coordinator.

The practical running of the specialist Court can vary depending on the jurisdiction. The length of the program will be determined by the assessment process (see below). The six month program is available in Adelaide and suburban Courts however the twelve month program is only available in the Adelaide Magistrates Court.

Commonly there are fortnightly Court attendances, urine testing (for those with substance abuse issues) and conditions to attend other services, such as counselling, where recommended.

Successful completion of the Program is taken into account in sentencing however failure to complete the complete the Program will not attract any additional penalty in sentencing.

The Assessment Process:

Once a referral form has been completed and a defendant is referred to the Program background checks are made and an assessment is conducted by Program Staff with the defendant.  This assessment will determine whether a defendant is eligible to participate in the Program and if so, which stream is best suited to the individual.

Who can participate?

The Intervention Programs are available to defendants charged with a Criminal offence(s) who have pleaded guilty to the majority of offences, or defendants who have admitted the factual elements of the charge, and who are assessed by the Court as requiring intervention. Criminal matters can be referred to the Treatment Intervention Court by a Magistrate, Solicitor or defendant.

Acceptance into the specialist Court can depend on a number of factors including whether the applicant is suitable for intervention, the location (ie residence) of the defendant and his/her access to support services and whether or not the applicant has previously participated in the specialist Court.  Defendants charged with Major Indictable offences are not eligible for the Program.

If you require legal assistance regarding a criminal charge and want to know more about whether you might be suitable for an Intervention Program contact an expert criminal lawyer at Websters Lawyers to arrange an initial consultation at no charge.

[1] Bail Act and Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act