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A court program to help more people enter alcohol treatment has now been expanded across the Perth metropolitan region.
Mental Health Minister, Helen Morton, announced a metropolitan-wide expansion of the Pre-sentence opportunity program (POP) for offenders with alcohol-related problems. Currently only operating at the Perth's Magistrate Court, POP for alcohol problems will be expanded to include all outer metropolitan courts.
POP is an early intervention program to assist people attending court who have drug-related problems. Since July 2013, a pilot of the POP program has also included offenders with alcohol-related problems.
'Engaging in this program will mean offenders with alcohol-related problems have the opportunity to receive treatment at a time in their lives when they might be open to making positive behaviour change,' Mrs Morton said. 'Since 2000, POP has been available for offenders with illicit drug-related problems who appear in the Magistrates Court. By expanding this successful program to include alcohol use, and further expanding it to all outer metropolitan courts, I hope more people will be offered this opportunity to break the cycle of offending.'
Attorney General, Michael Mischin, said he was pleased the Department of the Attorney General and the Drug and Alcohol Office were working together to offer intervention programs across the metropolitan region. 'I am very pleased that this pilot program will now be expanded to all metropolitan courts,' Mr Mischin said. 'It now means that offenders before the magistrates court in the broader Perth area who wish to address their alcohol-related problems may access the program.'
The program will be available to eligible offenders at all metropolitan courts from March including Fremantle, Joondalup, Midland, Armadale, Mandurah and Rockingham. Referral to POP is at the discretion of the magistrate.
Source: Government of Western Australia