Queensland has introduced special drug and alcohol sentencing options where the Court determines the offender and the community would benefit more from the offender participating in a rehabilitation and treatment program than from imprisonment.
Commentary explaining the availability and operation of drug and alcohol treatment orders has been added to the By Lawyers Criminal Magistrates’ Court Guide and the By Lawyers Traffic Offences Guide.
These specific drug and alcohol treatment orders are provided for under Part 8A of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 and are available for certain offenders whose criminal behaviour is linked to their severe drug or alcohol use. A treatment order is comprised of two parts – a custodial part with a term of imprisonment of up to four years which is wholly suspended and a rehabilitation part of at least two years that requires compliance with core conditions and completion of a treatment program.
At this stage the new provisions are only available in Brisbane, but it is intended that the program is developed and spreads to other areas.
These amendments bring Queensland in to line with other states, making supervised rehabilitation a formal part of the sentencing regime.