The demand for places at Parramatta's drug court "continues to outstrip supply", says Senior Judge Roger Dive.
Judge Dive has presided over the drug court since mid-2004.
There are three drug courts currently in NSW: one in Sydney, one in the Hunter and the original one in Parramatta.
In his submission to the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug Ice, Judge Dive said there was a "very strong" relationship between drugs and crime, with 70 per cent of prisoners identifying drugs or alcohol as the reason they offended.
Expansion is very simple in technical terms, as funding, while difficult to achieve, is the only actual barrier.Judge Dive.
But, in the latest report on the drug courts' performance, Judge Dive said it was unable to provide programs for all of the offenders who were eligible. He said there was an "ever-increasing gap between referrals and placement on program".
In 2018, the latest statistics currently available, there were 601 people referred to the Parramatta Drug Court.
But the number of participants in the program is determined by resources provided by the government and other partner agencies.
In an earlier report on the drug court, Judge Dive said the detrimental effect of the unmet demand was "profound".
"To manage this level of demand fairly, if somewhat brutally, a computerised ballot is conducted, and so only some of the apparently eligible and appropriate offenders are successful in the ballot, and given a drug court opportunity," he said.
"Those who are unsuccessful are, inevitably, simply sentenced to a goal term."
It means if a pair commit the same crime, one could go through the drug court program and beat their addiction, while the other would be jailed.
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In 2018, of the 601 people who were referred to one of the NSW drug courts, 389 made it to the ballot. Then there were 324 accepted into the program - just over half of those who were first referred.
In his ice inquiry submission, Judge Dive said an expansion of the geographical coverage of the drug court was "a rather obvious need".
He called for drug court programs to cover all of the Sydney metropolitan area, the Illawarra, Dubbo and Lismore.
"Given its proven success over 20 years since the Drug Summit of 1998, this program has only expanded twice, with the Hunter receiving coverage in 2011, and the inner city of Sydney in 2013. Expansion is very simple in technical terms, as funding, while difficult to achieve, is the only actual barrier," Judge Dive said.
It was a busy year for the Drug Court in 2018.
The number of entrants was the highest in six years at 313 and the program completion was at a record high with 326.
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