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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

January 30, 2009: New Drugs Court

The first of four new dedicated drug courts announced by Justice Secretary Jack Straw was launched in Barnsley today. The new court will tackle the problem of drug abusing offenders who commit low-level crime to fund their addiction.

When an offender is found guilty and sent to the dedicated drug court to be sentenced, the same magistrate or district judge will sentence the offender and review the progress of offenders on community orders with a drug rehabilitation requirement. Offenders will also be required to undergo regular drug tests.

The Justice Secretary said:

'Offenders who are sentenced in the drug court will have committed crime to fuel their addictions. In order to reduce reoffending, and help offenders back on the right track, the court will focus tackling crime committed by drug addicted offenders.

'Many of the offenders concerned come from chaotic backgrounds where stability has been lacking, so continuity and accountability in the court is especially important. These dedicated drug courts will benefit the entire community.'

The dedicated drug court encourages closer working between agencies and treatment providers in Barnsley, from the police to the judiciary, to reduce drug abuse and related offending behaviour. Wherever possible the same magistrate or district judge will deal with any breaches and re-sentence if necessary, considering all the options including custody.

Attending the launch, HM Courts Service Chief Executive Chris Mayer commented:

'Drug-related crime can have a devastating effect on a local community. The Barnsley dedicated drugs court aims to tackle the problem head on to reduce drug related offending. The pilot brings together the court, judiciary, probation, police, Crown Prosecution Service, drug and alcohol teams and others working in partnership to make the pilot a success.'

The dedicated drug courts form part of the national initiative to take a more holistic approach dealing with offenders with specific needs. The idea behind the court is that seeing familiar faces can help build a relationship of trust and confidence between the judge and addict, motivating defendants to salvage their life from the hold of drugs.

Two other dedicated drug court pilots were launched at Leeds and West London Magistrates' Courts in December 2005. The decision to extend the pilot scheme to four more courts was announced in April 2008, after an evaluation indicated they can have a positive impact on reoffending, court attendance and compliance.

The remaining three drug court pilots will be officially launched in Cardiff, Salford, and Bristol magistrates' courts later this year.