University of Tasmania

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What works? : an examination of the court mandated diversion program outcomes

posted on 2023-05-26, 20:04 authored by Gerrard, KM
The Court Mandated Diversion (CMD) program was developed and implemented into Tasmanian Legislation as a post sentencing option in August 2007. The program followed a national and international trend initiated in the US to utilize the criminal justice system as a mechanism for providing therapeutic intervention to offenders who have committed drug related crime, or crimes that have been motivated by their use of illicit drugs. This dissertation will provide an examination of the way in which these programs have developed and in particular will focus on the drug court model, its theoretical basis and evaluations of outcomes. Using quantitative research methods the focus of this study was to determine whether there were any common variables that were indicative of successful outcomes for participants of the CMD program, both in terms of variables that may be unique to participants prior to their entry into the program and also variables that were linked to the actual intervention provided by the program. The study also briefly examined the way that participants engaged with the key aspects of the intervention in order to examine how these factors may have been related to a successful outcome. The study was region specific and focussed on interventions provided by way of a Drug Treatment Order rather than examining the data for all participants who had participated in the program to date. As a result the sample size was relatively limited and results of statistical significance need to be interpreted with some caution. Notwithstanding these constraints the research provides some indication of variables that have been statistically more common amongst certain groups of participants to date and provides a basis for future research direction which can also be considered in the continued development of the program and used to enhance the program's responsively for participants. By developing a greater understanding of the target group of participants and interventions that appear to be linked to successful outcomes for these groups the research can be used to further develop the program's treatment approach. In summary the research asks the broad question: what works for whom and in what conditions? The key findings demonstrate that CMD participants have an extended history of illicit drug use, a history of involvement with the criminal justice system and have had limited histories of engagement with drug treatment services. Participants exhibit serious patterns of illicit drug use and preliminary results indicate that some specific interventions were more common amongst the group of participants who had more favourable outcomes. These included psychological interventions and individual counselling. Additionally participant's engagement in drug treatment and welfare programs has been substantially increased through their participation in the CMD program and evidence is presented indicating what appear to be overall reductions in illicit substance use, particularly for substances of principle concern, amphetamine and opiates.


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Copyright 2013 the author Thesis (MCrimCorr)--University of Tasmania, 2013. Includes bibliographical references

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