Page 327 - Week 01 - Thursday, 9 December 2004

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(4) What is the feedback from the (a) AFP and (b) ACT Health on how this program is working;

(5) Have any persons who have been treated by the drug diversion program been found by police to be in possession of drugs again; if so, (a) how many and (b) what was their penalty the second time round;

(6) Are all those sent through the drug diversion program willing participants; if not, what happens to those who are not willing participants;

(7) Have any staff been hurt (a) physically or (b) mentally, as part of this program;

(8) How much has the drug diversion program cost the Territory to date;

(9) What amount of funds has been allocated to the program this financial year.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) Yes, 85 people have been referred to the program since its introduction.

(2) The breakdown of male/females referred to the Drug Diversion program is as follows:















(3) Yes. Of those referred to the Drug Diversion program, 27 were under the age of 18.

(4) (a) The AFP believes that the program delivers benefits and to this end reapplied for funding for 2004-2005 and is awaiting final approval. The program ensures that the approach to illicit drug use in the ACT remains consistent with the principles of harm minimisation. The Drug Diversion process also has the advantage of directly intervening in the cycle of drug misuse and crime.

(b) The Minister for Health will be providing this response in Question on Notice 11.

(5) The number of persons that have been referred to the Drug Diversion program and have re-offended in relation to drugs is nine. It should be noted that one of these people did not comply with the requirements of the program. ACT Policing officers may issue a Simple Cannabis Offence Notice, summons or arrest in response to a person re-offending in relation to drugs while on the program. Other penalties following the issue of a summons or an arrest are determined and imposed by the court.

(6) Yes. All participants who are referred to the Drug Diversion program must consent to attend the program. Persons declining to attend the program are cautioned, issued with a Simple Cannabis Offence Notice or summonsed to attend court.

(7) There have been no police members hurt as part of this program. The offences relating to the Drug Diversion program are presumed to be victimless in nature, that is, the offender is not directly causing harm to others, only to themselves.

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