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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Illicit drugs court diversion program



The Illicit drugs court diversion program is aimed at diverting all eligible offenders who appear in Magistrates Courts or any Queensland Children's Magistrates Court charged with possession of a small amount of an illicit drug for personal use.

Magistrates in the courts are permitted to sentence eligible and consenting offenders pleading guilty to offences of possession of a small quantity of drugs and/or utensil to a recognisances with a condition that the offender attends a drug assessment and education session.

Diverted offenders who are identified as having a dependence on an illicit drug are also offered a referral to an authorised provider of outpatient treatment programs.

In the case of juvenile offenders, the court proceedings are adjourned while the young person attends the session. If they successfully complete the assessment and education session, a finding of guilt is made against the young person but no conviction is recorded nor any further action taken.

If a diverted offender fails to attend the designated drug assessment and education session, they are returned to court to be dealt with again for the original offence.

A person is eligible to be offered the opportunity to attend a drug assessment and education session if they:

Abstract adapted from Queensland Health


Queensland Courts Communications Unit


Last updated: 26 March 2015
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