Drug Court of New South Wales

Assessment and detoxification

How do we assess what program plan will be used?    

Each participant's Drug Court program is individually tailored to address his or her specific needs. The treatment options offered include abstinence, methadone and buprenorphine programs conducted in either the community or residential rehabilitation settings.

Justice Health gives each offender successfully referred to the Drug Court a preliminary health assessment and further investigations regarding the offender's eligibility are made. Successful applicants must then enter the assessment and detoxification stage, where an assessment of the individual's treatment needs is conducted and, where possible, a highly suitable treatment plan is formulated.

The initial assessment takes up to 2 weeks, and includes general and mental health reviews conducted by Justice Health or the appropriate Local Health District.

A treatment plan may require a participant to enter a residential rehabilitation centre, or allow a participant to live in accommodation nominated by a participant and approved by the Court, or in supported accommodation organised by the Court. Drug Court Policy 5 - Accommodation for participants  (PDF, 187.6 KB)details further information in relation to accommodation for participants.

After the assessment stage the offender appears before the Drug Court where he or she enters a guilty plea, receives a sentence that is suspended, and agrees to an undertaking to abide by his or her program conditions. An offender may still be excluded from participation after the assessment stage because of:

  • ineligibility
  • unwillingness to participate
  • lack of a highly suitable treatment plan.

Detoxification in custody                

If the Court decides that an applicant is eligible, the person will be remanded in custody for detoxification and assessment. This takes place at the Drug Court Unit which is annexed to the main clinic of the MRRC and is separated from the main gaol inmates.

The Court insists that all participants enter custody, even if they are referred to the Drug Court on bail. Whilst in custody further information about the requirements of the Drug Court will be explained, and the participant will be given a copy of the undertaking which details the conditions of a Drug Court program.

Last updated:

09 Feb 2024

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