Justice Minister Judith Collins has marked the first hearings at the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court pilot sitting in Auckland and Waitakere District Courts today.
Ms Collins says it is extremely pleasing the pilot Court is now up and running, helping to reduce re-offending by supporting offenders who make a serious commitment to change.
“This AODT Court is a first for New Zealand. I am delighted we now have a Court that can deliver a new holistic approach to reducing re-offending.
“The AODT Court gives offenders an opportunity to confront the drug and alcohol dependency that has fuelled their offending, giving them the tools and support they need to free themselves from a life of addiction.
“Re-offending has fallen by almost 7 per cent over the past year. If we are to continue delivering results, we need to explore innovative new ways of working. The AODT Court is a perfect example of this in action,” Ms Collins says.
When the pilot Court has been running for a significant length of time, it will be evaluated for success in treatment outcomes, reduction in reoffending, and cost effectiveness.
“Studies of the effect of AODT on recidivism rates in the United States show a reduction in re-offending of between 10 and 25 per cent across different jurisdictions. We would love to achieve a similar result here in New Zealand,” Ms Collins says.