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What works? : an examination of the court mandated diversion program outcomes


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Gerrard, KM 2013 , 'What works? : an examination of the court mandated diversion program outcomes', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The Court Mandated Diversion (CMD) program was developed and implemented into Tasmanian
Legislation as a post sentencing option in August 2007. The program followed a national and
international trend initiated in the US to utilize the criminal justice system as a mechanism for
providing therapeutic intervention to offenders who have committed drug related crime, or crimes
that have been motivated by their use of illicit drugs. This dissertation will provide an examination of
the way in which these programs have developed and in particular will focus on the drug court
model, its theoretical basis and evaluations of outcomes.
Using quantitative research methods the focus of this study was to determine whether there were
any common variables that were indicative of successful outcomes for participants of the CMD
program, both in terms of variables that may be unique to participants prior to their entry into the
program and also variables that were linked to the actual intervention provided by the program. The
study also briefly examined the way that participants engaged with the key aspects of the
intervention in order to examine how these factors may have been related to a successful outcome.
The study was region specific and focussed on interventions provided by way of a Drug Treatment
Order rather than examining the data for all participants who had participated in the program to
date. As a result the sample size was relatively limited and results of statistical significance need to
be interpreted with some caution. Notwithstanding these constraints the research provides some
indication of variables that have been statistically more common amongst certain groups of
participants to date and provides a basis for future research direction which can also be considered
in the continued development of the program and used to enhance the program's responsively for
participants. By developing a greater understanding of the target group of participants and
interventions that appear to be linked to successful outcomes for these groups the research can be
used to further develop the program's treatment approach.
In summary the research asks the broad question: what works for whom and in what conditions?
The key findings demonstrate that CMD participants have an extended history of illicit drug use, a
history of involvement with the criminal justice system and have had limited histories of
engagement with drug treatment services. Participants exhibit serious patterns of illicit drug use and
preliminary results indicate that some specific interventions were more common amongst the group
of participants who had more favourable outcomes. These included psychological interventions and
individual counselling. Additionally participant's engagement in drug treatment and welfare
programs has been substantially increased through their participation in the CMD program and evidence is presented indicating what appear to be overall reductions in illicit substance use,
particularly for substances of principle concern, amphetamine and opiates.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Gerrard, KM
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2013 the author

Additional Information:

Available for use in the Library and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (MCrimCorr)--University of Tasmania, 2013. Includes bibliographical references

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