There are positive indications that Drug Courts are helping offenders on the road to rehabilitation, a study has found.
As the Government made clear in the recent Breaking the Cycle Green Paper, a new approach is needed, focused on cutting crime by getting offenders off drugs.
Drug Courts, which have been piloted across England, encourage a sitting judge or magistrate to build a relationship with individual drug-addicted offenders in order to get to the root of their behaviour.
This approach is thought to improve offenders' chances of attending court hearings, completing community orders and may lower the risk of them committing more crimes.
Other criminal justice and health agencies attend court hearings and work in partnership to address the root causes of offenders' problems. A new report indicates that both staff and offenders have responded positively to the approach.
Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly said:
'I welcome this study, which shows that dedicated drug courts have had success in joining up agencies and getting to the root of offenders' drug problems. The model is now embedded in six locations across the country and we will be further scrutinising their effectiveness.
'Drug-related crime has a devastating effect on communities and we are determined to tackle it. As part of our recently published proposals to break the destructive cycle of crime we set out plans to get more offenders off drugs through tailored rehabilitation and so cut crime.'
Read the report in full.