This submission will focus on two key issues relevant to the policy review. Firstly, it will focus on how we can reduce the impacts of drug offences on the criminal justice system. Then it will look at how the burden on the justice system of issues related to drug dependency among offenders can be addressed and reduced.
1. How can we reduce the impact of drug offences on the criminal justice system?
For this submission, we highlight opportunities in four areas:
(a) Reducing the numbers entering the criminal justice system for minor drugs offences (ie ‘simple’ possession of a controlled drug and cannabis warnings)
(b) Ensuring proportionality in sentencing for drug offences
(c) Distinguishing between different forms of drug offences
(d) Diverting some drug offenders from prosecution
2. How best can we address the challenge of drug dependency among offenders both in and outside our prisons?
(a) Addressing drug dependency in prison
(b) Widening the range of services and targeting these effectively
(c) Expanding the use of heroin assisted treatment for those with profound opiate addictions
(d) Using suspended sentences and expanding use of non-custodial sentences
(e) Requiring better evidence