Evaluation of the ACT Drug Diversion Programs

The Evaluation of the Australian Capital Territory Drug Diversion Programs (2013) was led by the Drug Policy Modelling Program, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

The Evaluation identified strengths and challenges of the ACT police and court drug diversion system and opportunities to expand the investment and effectiveness of diversion programs in the ACT.

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Evaluation findings

The Evaluation found:

  • The ACT police and court diversion system has changed significantly since the first diversion program was introduced.
  • There were five diversion programs in operation that involved the police, health services and courts.

ACT stakeholders involved in the Evaluation concurred that the ACT police and court diversion system has two primary objectives:

  • To divert drug offenders away from the criminal justice system and
  • To divert drug and drug-related offenders into:

  • Contact with the ACT alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment system;
  • Education; and
  • Assessment and treatment.

There were a lot of positives and challenges about the ACT police and court diversion system at the system and program levels.

Drug diversion programs

The ACT has three police drug diversion programs:

  • Illicit Drug Diversion (IDD) - diversion to education for possession of illicit drugs (or illicit possession of licit drugs) for personal use alone;
  • Youth Alcohol Diversion (YAD) - diversion to education of child/young person under 18 years for being intoxicated in a public place or committing an offence under the Liquor Act 2010 (i.e. purchasing, possess or consuming liquor in a public place); and
  • Simple Cannabis Offence notice (SCON) - $100 fine for possessing not more than 50 grams of cannabis or not more than 2 cannabis plants (excluding artificial cultivation of cannabis plants).

The ACT has two court drug diversion programs:

  • Youth Drug and Alcohol Court (YDAC) - Judicial and therapeutic interventions for children and people under 18 years with alcohol and other drug-related criminal behaviour and
  • Court Alcohol and Drug Assessment Scheme (CADAS) - Court ordered alcohol and other drug assessments and treatment.

Contact us

For further information email the AOD Policy unit: AODPolicy@act.gov.au