When we refuse entry into our program


General ineligibility

A person is not eligible if he or she is:

  • charged with an offence involving violent conduct
  • charged with a sexual offence
  • charged with a strictly indictable supply of prohibited drugs
  • suffering from a mental condition that could prevent or restrict participation in the program.

Offenders who are before a Local or District Court in the defined catchment area, who appear to meet the Drug Court eligibility criteria, and seek entry into a program, must be referred to the Drug Court.

Whenever there are more eligible applicants than there are available program places, a weekly random selection process occurs to determine which applicant is assigned to each available place. The number of places available each week is determined by the Senior Judge, in consultation with the court team, after consideration of the number of participants currently actively engaged in their program.

Previous participants and applicants

Refer to Policy #12 Selection of Participants regarding entry onto program for previous participants and previously refused participants.

Previous participants

An applicant who has previously been a Drug Court participant is not an appropriate person for a Drug Court program if it is less than three years since final sentence was imposed in relation to the participant's last Drug Court program, or if it is less than three years since the completion of the non-parole period of any final sentence that was imposed (not suspended), whichever is the later.

Previously refused applicants

If an applicant referred to the Drug Court has, within two years of the date of referral, been found to not be an appropriate person under s 7A(2) or the previous section, s 7(2), the applicant is not an appropriate person for a Drug Court program, and the Registrar will notify the referring Court that the applicant has not been accepted.

If a person is unsuccessful on the ballot, they are ineligible to be placed on any future ballots for the same offences.

The Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) may raise a concern regarding a person's entry into a Drug Court program because of matters in the person's antecedents (s 7A(2)). The Court will be concerned about matters of violence, and may require evidence to be presented about the likelihood of a person committing a violent or dangerous offence while on a program.

In a case where the where the DPP hold the applicant not an 'appropriate' person or a person who may or may not be 'appropriate', they will request that the court make a determination as to 'appropriateness'.

The Court may find that:

  • on the information available, the person is appropriate for a Drug Court program
  • on the information available, the person is not appropriate for a Drug Court program
  • the person is an appropriate person, but only if additional special conditions are added to his or her program plan
  • a hearing is to be held to determine appropriateness

If a hearing is required, the Court will hear submissions and determine whether the Court would be assisted by the preparation of a psychiatric report. Other evidence may also be obtained.

There is no appeal against a decision taken by the Drug Court to refuse entry to a program.

Offenders who are referred to the Drug Court but do not enter the Drug Court program are usually sent back to the referring court for sentence.