Pubdate: Wed, 27 Feb 2008
Source: Brock Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 Brock Citizen
Bookmark: (Drug Courts)
Bookmark: (Treatment)


An innovative approach to dealing with substance abuse and crime is 
underway in Durham Region.

The Durham Drug Treatment Court was initiated through a partnership 
between Judge Kofi Barnes, Lakeridge Health Pinewood and 
representatives from the Crown, duty counsel and probation services.

It provides comprehensive treatment to people charged with criminal 
offences with demonstrated substance abuse issues.

While Drug Treatment Courts are relatively new to Canada, they have 
succeeded  in the United States, Norway and Australia.

"The Durham Drug Treatment Court provides court-supervised treatment 
for those primarily addicted to cocaine and/or opiates," said Paul 
McGary, director of Mental Health and Pinewood Centre at Lakeridge Health.

"Our goal is to reduce the relapse rates of our client's substance 
use and related criminal behaviour through addiction and lifestyle 

To participate, offenders must accept responsibility for their 
offence by entering a guilty plea. After completing the program, 
clients receive a non-custodial sentence.

The new court has not yet received financial support from the 
Department of Justice Canada. The partners are supporting the program 
in hopes that government funding comes through.
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