Expanding access to drug and alcohol support services in Tasmania

Elise Archer, Attorney General

The Rockliff Liberal Government is expanding access to services and treatment to address drug and alcohol issues that contribute to recidivism and relapse with the release of the draft Sentencing Amendment (Alcohol Treatment Order) Bill 2023 for public consultation today.

The Bill proposes to amend the Sentencing Act 1997 so that a court may make a treatment order where an offender has a demonstrated history of alcohol dependence which is linked to their offending.

“Importantly, this Bill will expand the use of Drug Treatment Orders under the Court Mandated Diversion (CMD) program to Drug and Alcohol Treatment Orders”, said Attorney-General, Elise Archer.

“The program uses therapeutic interventions and the support of the court to ensure that offenders access the services and treatment necessary to address the issues that contribute to recidivism and relapse.

“The program is an important alternative sentencing option that allows offenders to remain in the community, where they are engaged with services to treat their underlying issues, while simultaneously reducing the negative impact on themselves and their families.

“I have attended many graduations from the CMD program and it is always an uplifting experience to see somebody completely turn their life around for them and their family, and in addition to breaking the cycle of addiction and offending, participants often have positive impacts on all other aspects of their lives.

“I have seen the enormous benefit the program has delivered for many Tasmanians and now look forward to the program becoming available to offenders with a history of alcohol dependence.”

The Sentencing Act 1997 provides restrictions around the granting of a Drug Treatment Order, which will continue to apply to drug and alcohol treatment orders.

Consultation on the draft Bill will close at midnight on Sunday, 8 October 2023 and feedback received will inform the final version of the Bill which is expected to be tabled in Parliament before the end of the year.

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