Legal experts shared their views on the need for a drug court and rehab centre on Tuesday night as part of Dubbo Regional Council's second question and answer panel.
Facilitated by barrister Joe Kellaway, the panellists were Legal Aid's Bill Dickens, Anne Hazelton from North and Badgery Solicitors and Barristers, crown prosecutor Mark Davies and social research consultant Patrick Shepherdson.
It's the second Q&A panel council has hosted as part of the Dubbo Needs a Rehab campaign.
Council has been pushing for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. The federal government has promised $3 million towards the construction, while council has said it will provide the land.
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The further funding for the construction and ongoing costs of the rehab is still needed from the NSW government.
Mr Dickens said a drug court was one of the therapeutic approaches to sentencing within NSW.
There are four pillars of a drug court program: drug treatment, social support, court updates on the participants progress and regular drug testing.
It wasn't a soft option, but a sensible one, Mr Dickens said.
"They're sensible because they're effective in reducing recidivism and reoffending," the solicitor said.
"In September of this year, BOCSAR (Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research) reported on a study of the operations of the drug court over a considerable period of time. Clearly marked in those findings [was that] the drug court was effective in assisting in reducing recidivism rates."
Currently, the drug court is only available for people who live in specific areas.
Mr Dickens refers to it as 'postcode justice'.
"If you happen to live in western Sydney, or if you happen to live in Toronto or if you happen to live anywhere within the Sydney metropolitan area you're going to be more eligible for the consideration of these programs. If you're out here, you don't get a look into either of them," he said.