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MIKE TRACE AND JAC CHARLIER - CRIMINAL JUSTICE DIVERSION INTO DRUG OR ALCOHOL TREATMENT - HOW ARE WE DOING?

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For over 20 years, a key UK drug strategy objective has been to identify people with drug problems in police stations, courts and prisons, and encourage them to accept treatment to address their addictive and criminal behaviours. Over the same period in the US, there has been widespread development of Drug Courts that have the same objective. This session will consist of a panel conversation and facilitated discussion between Mike Trace (Former UK Deputy Drug Czar, and current CEO of Forward Trust) and Jac Charlier (Director of PTAC - a US coalition of agencies promoting pre-trial diversion) that addresses the following questions:
• To what extent, with hindsight, were these policies and programmes well implemented?
• Did they achieve their objectives of reducing drug related o ending, and getting more people into recovery? • Are the current mechanisms for diversion working well?
• What should happen next - in the USA and the UK?

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MIKE TRACE AND JAC CHARLIER - CRIMINAL JUSTICE DIVERSION INTO DRUG OR ALCOHOL TREATMENT - HOW ARE WE DOING?

  1. 1. Criminal justice diversion into drug or alcohol treatment – how are we doing? Jac Charlier – National Director (TASC), Police Treatment and Community Collaborative, USA Mike Trace – Chief Executive, The Forward Trust, UK
  2. 2. Many people with drug/alcohol problems come into contact with the criminal justice system. We need strong processes to divert people into treatment and services in the community. Police First responders Initial detention Initial court hearings Prosecutors Jail Court Jail re-entry Prison re-entry Probation Parole Community-based services and recovery support
  3. 3. First, define your terms (lots of them!) Deflection Probation and Parole Court Diversion/Drug Courts/Specialty Courts/Problem Solving Courts Arrest Referral Post-arrest/Prosecution/Pre-trial Diversion Pre-arrest/Law Enforcement Diversion Criminal Justice Diversion Alternatives to Custody/ Incarceration Jail Diversion/ Bail Assessment
  4. 4. History in the USA and UK • Harsh drug laws, mass arrests, all arrestees subject to prosecution/court, drug courts • “Law and Order” but with a “Second Chance” philosophy • Long sentences with little prison based treatment • Current trends towards more/earlier diversion • Tradition of warnings for low level drug offences • Correlation between drug use patterns and certain types of crime • 1998 strategy – DTTO’s, DIP, DRR/ATR, liaison and diversion
  5. 5. Who is targeted for diversion? USA Court diversion focused on specific populations; drug law offenders/other offences (relatively low risk offenders); age/race/gender – changing cohort now more pre-court diversion. The net is wider and the stakes are higher. UK Focused on drug related offenders, smaller and more marginalised group, age/race/gender
  6. 6. Diversion to what? Varies widely based on local resources (makes for wide disparity of services, no national system). Traditionally primarily abstinence programmes, but this is rapidly changing - evidence-based practices, spread of methods, clear response to treatment success/failure. Referral to generic treatment system, primarily substitution treatment. What does success look like? Unclear response to success/failure, declining priority for criminal justice access.

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