Who is eligible?                


To be eligible for the Drug Court a person must:

  • be highly likely to be sentenced to fulltime imprisonment if convicted

  • have indicated that he or she will plead guilty to the offence

  • be dependent on the use of prohibited drugs

  • must live in the Local Government Areas of Canterbury-Bankstown, City of Blacktown, City of Campbelltown, City of Cessnock, City of Fairfield, City of Hawkesbury, City of Lake Macquarie, City of Liverpool, City of Maitland, City of Newcastle, City of Parramatta, City of Penrith, City of Sydney, Cumberland, Port Stephens, The Hills Shire;

  • be referred from the District Court at Campbelltown, Parramatta, Penrith, East Maitland, Newcastle or Sydney;

  • be referred from the Local Court at Bankstown, Belmont, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Central, Cessnock, Downing Centre, Fairfield, Kurri Kurri, Liverpool, Maitland, Mount Druitt, Newcastle, Parramatta, Penrith, Raymond Terrace, Toronto, Waverly and Windsor;

  • be 18 years of age or over

  • be willing to participate

A person is not eligible if he or she is:

  • charged with an offence involving violent conduct;

  • charged with a sexual offence or an offence punishable under Division 2 Part 2 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985

  • suffering from a mental condition that could prevent or restrict participation in the program.

A Local or District Court in the defined catchment area must refer offenders who appear to meet the Drug Court eligibility criteria to the Drug Court. The initial referral is by a telephone call. Before the offender is brought to the Drug Court, the Drug Court Registry staff conduct a preliminary eligibility screening based on the person's age, location of residence and referring court.

Whenever there are more eligible applicants than there are available program places, a weekly random selection process occurs to determine which applicants are assigned to available places on program.

At first appearance before the Drug Court preliminary inquiries as to eligibility are made, including an evaluation of drug dependency.