Drug Court of New South Wales

Compulsory Drug Treatment Correctional Centre (CDTCC)

The Drug Court provides judicial supervision for prisoner participants at the Compulsory Drug Treatment Correctional Centre (CDTCC). The Centre provides compulsory treatment and rehabilitation of drug offenders who are housed in a separate facility at Parklea.

Prisoners who are identified as eligible convicted offenders are referred to the Drug Court. Following a comprehensive suitability assessment by a multi-disciplinary team, the Court may make a Compulsory Drug Treatment Order (CDTO), referring the participant to the CDTCC.

The order is “compulsory” because neither the Crown or the offender has a right to object to (or appeal against) the referral to the Drug Court for consideration of a CDTO.

The Drug Court has responsibility for making determinations as to the progression and regression of participants through the three stages of the program. The Drug Court is also the Parole Authority for CDTCC participants.


Sentencing courts have a duty to ascertain whether the Drug Court might find a person eligible, and if so, refer the person to the Drug Court to determine suitability for a CDTO.

Referrals can be made by the following courts:

District Courts

  • Campbelltown
  • Liverpool
  • Penrith
  • Sydney

Local Courts

  • Bankstown
  • Blacktown
  • Burwood
  • Camden
  • Campbelltown
  • Central
  • Downing Centre
  • Fairfield
  • Hornsby
  • Liverpool
  • Manly
  • Mount Druitt
  • Newtown
  • Parramatta
  • Penrith
  • Sutherland
  • Waverley
  • Windsor

Court of Criminal Appeal

  • In respect of appeals from courts listed above.

Refer to Drug Court Regulation 2020, cl9.


The sentencing court must find the defendant to be an “eligible convicted offender” (S 5A, Drug Court Act 1998). The following eligibility criteria applies:

  1. The person is convicted of an offence (other than those outlined in s 5A, ss 2, Drug Court Act 1998)
  2. The person has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment for the offence to be served by way of full-time detention and at the time that the sentence was imposed –
    • the unexpired non-parole period of the sentence was a period of at least 18 months, and
    • the unexpired total sentence was a period of not more than 6 years
  3. The person has a long-term dependency on the use of prohibited drugs
  4. The person is male
  5. The person is over 18 years of age, and
  6. The person’s usual place of residence must be within one of the following Local Government Areas (LGAs):
    • Bayside
    • Burwood
    • Camden
    • Canada Bay
    • Canterbury-Bankstown
    • City of Blacktown
    • City of Campbeltown
    • City of Fairfield
    • City of City of Hawkesbury
    • City of Liverpool
    • City of Parramatta
    • City of Penrith
    • City of Randwick

To check a residential catchment area, enter the address on the Office of the Local Government's Local Government Area locator.

If the offender meets the above criteria, the sentencing court refers them to the Parramatta Drug Court.

Further suitability criteria will also be considered at the Drug Court to find the offender an “eligible convicted offender”. The following eligibility criteria will be considered at the Drug Court:

  1. has a long-term substance use disorder that is directly connected to the offence/s committed,
  2. the facts and antecedents of the offence indicate long-term substance use and associated listestyle, and
  3. must not suffer from a serious mental condition that may lead to violence or restrict active participation in the program. Psychiatric and health assessments by clinician at the CDTCC assist the Court in this determination.

A person is not an eligible convicted offender if:

  • the person has been convicted of an offence involving the use of a firearm, or
  • the person has been convicted at any time of some specified offences. These include murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, sexual assault of an adult or child, or a sexual offence involving a child, or offences involving the supply or manufacture of a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug within the meaning of Div 2 of Pt 2 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985.
  • the person suffers from a serious mental condition that may lead to violence or restrict active participation in the program. 

If the offender is considered eligible and suitable, the Drug Court imposes a Compulsory Drug Treatment Order (CDTO).

Program phases

The program comprises of three stages:

  1. Closed detention
  2. Semi-open detention
  3. Community custody

Each phase has a minimum six-month duration and will involve regular drug testing. The Drug Court has the power to make a progression order (moving up a phase) or regression order (moving back a phase).


A participants release to parole is instigated upon successful completion of all program phases.

An offender’s CDTO expires at the end of the term of the sentence or when the offender is released on parole, whichever occurs first. When a CDTCC participant becomes eligible for parole, the Drug Court becomes the authority that may make a parole order in relation to an offender.

Revocation of CDTO

The Drug Court may revoke an offender’s CDTO for any reason it sees fit. If a CDTO is revoked, the State Parole Authority is notified of the revocation and decides whether to grant parole.

No appeal lies against the Drug Court’s decision to revoke a treatment order.

Refer to s106, Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999.

Contact details

Refer to Parramatta Drug Court Registry contact details.

Last updated:

14 Feb 2024

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