If the Court decides that an applicant is eligible, the person will be remanded in custody for detoxification and assessment. This takes place at the Drug Court Unit which is annexed to the main clinic of the MRRC and is separated from the main gaol inmates. The Court insists that all participants enter custody, even if they are referred to the Drug Court on bail. Whilst in custody further information about the requirements of the Drug Court will be explained, and the participant will be given a copy of the undertaking which details the conditions of a Drug Court program.
The initial assessment takes up to 2 weeks, and includes general and mental health reviews conducted by Justice Health.
A treatment plan may require a participant to enter a residential rehabilitation centre, or allow a participant to live in accommodation nominated by a participant and approved by the Court, or in supported accommodation organised by the Court.
After the assessment stage the offender appears before the Drug Court where he or she enters a guilty plea, receives a sentence that is suspended, and signs an undertaking to abide by his or her program conditions. An offender may still be excluded from participation after the assessment stage because of:
unwillingness to participate
lack of a highly suitable treatment plan.