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Successful drug court program hampered by Archer’s failure to resource

  • Only one counsellor for more than 40 clients in southern Tasmania
  • Archer’s claims of getting tough on crime not reflected in failure to provide staff

Corrections Minister Elise Archer has admitted that despite increasing the number of places available on Tasmania’s Court Mandated Drug Diversion list, she has irresponsibly failed to provide the important program with staff to run it properly.

Ms Archer confirmed that with 120 places on the court state-wide, there was still only one alcohol and drug counsellor employed in southern Tasmania to deal with upwards of 40 clients.

Shadow Corrections Minister Ella Haddad said it was crucial that the Hodgman Liberal Government increase resources.

“The court mandated drug diversion list allows offenders found guilty of drug-related crimes to be ordered to undertake drug and alcohol treatment,” Ms Haddad said.

“People on drug treatment orders are required to attend weekly meetings with a case manager and also receive weekly counselling and submit to regular urinalysis.

“But with 40 places on the court in the south, there is now just one alcohol and drug counsellor to service all southern clients.

“If Ms Archer and the Hodgman Government are – as they claim – in any way committed to reducing crime and reducing the effect of drugs on our community, they will immediately increase the staff working with clients on drug treatment orders.

“There are no doubt many offenders who would benefit from being on a drug treatment order but as the places and resourcing are so stretched, they will miss out.”

Ella Haddad MP 
Shadow Corrections Minister