Crime Prevention Division
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CPD Programs

Crime Prevention Programs
For more information on crime prevention please visit www.crimeprevention.nsw.gov.au

Court and Offender Programs
Court Referral of Eligible Defendants into Treatment (CREDIT)
Domestic Violence Intervention Court Model
Drug Court (for Adults)
Forum Sentencing
Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment (MERIT)
Rural Alcohol Diversion (RAD)
Traffic Offender Intervention Program Youth Drug and Alcohol Court (YDAC)

Aboriginal Programs
Aboriginal Client Service Specialist Program (ACSS)
Aboriginal Community Justice Groups (ACJG)
Aboriginal Justice Plan
Care Circles
Circle Sentencing
Safe Aboriginal Youth (SAY) Program (formerly the Aboriginal Community Patrols Program)


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Crime Prevention Programs

For more information on crime prevention please visit www.crimeprevention.nsw.gov.au

Court and Offender Programs

Court Referral of Eligible Defendants into Treatment (CREDIT)
On 24 August 2009 a two-year trial of the Court Referral of Eligible Defendants into Treatment (CREDIT) program commenced at Tamworth and Burwood Local Courts.

CREDIT is a key initiative of the NSW Government to reduce re-offending rates. It is a 'cross agency' collaboration with the Crime Prevention Division of the Department of Justice and Attorney General as the lead agency.

The program targets adult defendants at local courts who are motivated to address issues that relate either directly or indirectly to the offending behaviour. Participants are offered facilitated access and support to a broad range of available services providing education or training, treatment, rehabilitation or other social welfare assistance. This includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Financial counselling
  • Counselling for gambling
  • Mental health assessment or support
  • Suicide counselling
  • Domestic violence or sexual assault support
  • Drug assessment, treatment or support
  • Alcohol misuse and treatment
  • Education, training or employment
  • Disability services

The design of the program draws on aspects of ‘problem-solving courts’ that use therapeutic jurisprudence principles as an important component of their processes. These courts use a collaborative problem-solving approach to address underlying issues that contribute to an offender’s behaviour in order to reduce their likelihood of re-offending.

pdf document The CREDIT brochure can be downloaded here. The brochure has contact details for CREDIT caseworkers and other information about the CREDIT program.

pdf document The CREDIT poster can be downloaded here. The poster describes what the CREDIT program is and has contact details.


Domestic Violence Intervention Court Model

The Domestic Violence Court Intervention Model (DVCIM) is an integrated criminal justice and community social welfare response to domestic violence.

The DVCIM aims to improve safety for victims of domestic violence offences in contact with the criminal justice system and ensure perpetrators of domestic violence offences are held to account for their actions.

Model objectives

  • Providing efficient and seamless support to victims of domestic violence, through the entire prosecution process
  • Improving the quality of the prosecution process to get better criminal justice system outcomes
  • Finding the balance between individual victim concerns and criminal justice system responsibilities to uphold law
  • Providing integrated offender victim and children’s programs aimed at enhancing victim’s safety and reducing repeat offending.

How does it work?
Where a domestic violence matter is reported to police and there is evidence to warrant it DVCIM will:
  • Improve collection of evidence and actively pursue charges
  • Arrest an alleged offender, lay charges and issue a summons
  • Apply for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order
  • Issue an offender with strict bail conditions
  • Support the victim/s throughout the criminal process
  • Ensure all files are tracked and monitored throughout the process
  • Improve brief preparations for court

Where the matter is appropriate for prosecution DVCIM will provide witness preparation and ensure victim safety and support is addressed.

The DVCIM is currently being trialed in two locations – Wagga Wagga and Campbelltown.

Project Partners in the DVCIM include: Department of Justice and Attorney General, NSW Police, Department of Corrective Services, NSW Legal Aid Commission and the NSW Department of Community Services. Each of these agencies are partners in the DVCIM because of their key role in the delivery of services and criminal justice responses to victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.Drug Court (Adult)
Drug Courts are specialist courts that deal with offenders who are dependent on drugs. They emerged as a result of growing disenchantment with the ability of traditional criminal justice approaches to provide long-term solutions to the cycle of drug use and crime. Drug Courts aim to assist drug-dependent offenders to overcome both their drug dependence and their criminal offending.

The Drug Court of New South Wales (NSW) was the first Drug Court in Australia. The Drug Court has Local Court and District Court jurisdiction. The court operates from the Parramatta Court complex.

Go to the Drug Court website
Forum Sentencing
Forum Sentencing brings together an offender, the victim(s) of the offender’s crime and other people affected by the crime. Forum Sentencing operates at selected NSW Local Courts and will be extended across the State over the next few years.

Forum Sentencing provides:
  • The victim(s) and other people with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the offender and tell them about the impact of the crime on their lives. During the Forum, the victim(s) can help create a list of actions for the offender (a Plan), that aims to repair harm to the victim and the community, and reduce the offender’s likelihood of re-offending.
  • The offender with an opportunity to learn about the impact their behaviour had on the victim(s) and other people. To be eligible for Forum Sentencing, the offender must be facing a prison sentence. The offender’s suitability is also carefully assessed—if it is considered the offender may not be respectful to the victim(s), a Forum will not be held.

More information is available on the Forum Sentencing - Facing up to Crime factsheet.

Go to the Forum Sentencing website >>
Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment (MERIT)
MERIT is a Local Court based diversion program that targets adult defendants with illicit drug use problems who are motivated to undertake drug treatment. Defendants assessed as suitable for MERIT can undertake supervised drug treatment as part of their bail conditions.

The primary goal of the MERIT program is to break the drug-crime cycle by involving defendants in treatment and rehabilitation programs.

Go to the MERIT website>>
Rural Alcohol Diversion (RAD) pilot program
The Rural Alcohol Diversion (RAD) program operated at Orange and Bathurst Local Courts from 2004-2009.

The RAD program was closely based on the Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment (MERIT) program. The key difference between the programs was that defendants whose primary substance of concern was alcohol were accepted into RAD, whereas to be eligible for MERIT, defendants had to have a demonstrable illicit drug problem.

On 1 July 2009, the RAD program formally merged with MERIT such that defendants at Orange and Bathurst Local Courts with are now eligible for the MERIT program whether their primary substance of concern is alcohol or an illicit drug.
Traffic Offender Intervention Program
The Traffic Offender Intervention Program is a Local Court based program targeting offenders who have plead guilty to, or been found guilty of, a traffic offence.

The goal of the program is to provide offenders with the information and skills necessary to develop positive attitudes towards driving and develop safer driving behaviours.

On application by the defendant, the defendant’s legal representative, or the Court’s own motion, magistrates can make a referral to an approved traffic course provider. The magistrate then adjourns the matter for sentencing, allowing sufficient time for the nominated course to be completed.

The program is Regulated under the Criminal Procedure Act by the Criminal Procedure Amendment (Traffic Offender Intervention Program) Regulation 2007. In addition, the TOIPs Operating Guidelines provide information for course providers on how to apply to become an approved course provider under the Regulation.

The Crime Prevention Division is currently accepting applications for approval. Magistrates will commence making referrals to approved course providers from 28 March 2008.

Traffic Offender Intervention Program: Operating Guidelines (Word 125Kb) and also Criminal Procedure Amendment (Traffic Offender Intervention Program) Regulation 2007 (PDF 284Kb)
Youth Drug and Alcohol Court (YDAC)
The NSW Youth Drug and Alcohol Court (YDAC) aims to reduce re-offending by young people with alcohol and or drug problems who have become entrenched in the criminal justice system. It began operations in July 2000 and operates across the Sydney metropolitan region.

The YDAC aims to rehabilitate young offenders by addressing the broader health and welfare issues which have influenced the young person's drug use and associated offending. The YDAC program is an multi-agency program, which brings together the juvenile criminal justice system with various government and non-government adolescent service providers.

Go to the YDAC website

Aboriginal Programs

Aboriginal Client Services Specialist Program
The Aboriginal Client Service Specialist (ACSS) Program is one of a range of initiatives managed by the Department of Justice and Attorney General to address the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system. There are currently 17 ACSS position located across New South Wales.The program was established in 1995 and seeks to improve the quality of justice related services for Aboriginal victims, court users and their families. ACSS tend to perform their roles slightly differently across locations, in response to local circumstances. ACSS are based within the local court in the communities where they are located.

The objectives of the program are:
1. To ensure that Aboriginal defendants, victims and families understand the outcome of their court matter
2. To improve community awareness and understanding of court processes
3. To improve community awareness and accessibility of justice related support services, including victims services, time to pay applications, mediation and civil court services
4. To improve the capacity of non Aboriginal staff to provide culturally competent services to Aboriginal clients
5. To improve relationships between Aboriginal people and courts

In addition to front-line client service, ACSS also facilitate community education sessions and provide outreach services. Outreach services take the courts services out to a community setting and allows clients to access support within their own communities, rather than in the court.

The ACSS program was evaluated in 2005 and the following achievements were noted:
  • A reduction in the number of 'fail to appears' in courts with ACSS officers
  • Registry staff reporting a reduction in conflict between Aboriginal clients and staff
  • A high level of support from key stakeholders, including Police, Legal professionals and Magistrates
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Aboriginal Community Justice Groups
Aboriginal Community Justice Groups are local groups of Aboriginal people who come together to develop ways to address local law and justice issues.

Groups are able to work with juvenile and adult offenders as well as victims of crime.

Groups operate in rural, remote, and metropolitan New South Wales. Groups will have an important role to play in Circle Sentencing.

More information is available on the Aboriginal Community Justice Groups factsheet.
Aboriginal Justice Plan
Former NSW Attorney General, Hon. John Hatzistergos and the Aboriginal Justice Advisory Council (AJAC) chairperson, Lennie Frail and the Aboriginal Youth Justice Advisory Network (AYJAN) chairperson, Bobbi Cattermole launched the NSW Government's 10 year Aboriginal Justice Plan, in 2005.

The Aboriginal Justice Plan is intended to operate over 10 years. It aims to not only reduce the number of Aboriginal people coming into contact with the criminal justice system, but to improve the way that system deals with all Aboriginal people whether they are offenders or victims of crime..
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Care Circles
Care Circles is a program where Aboriginal people ("Community representatives") in the Shoalhaven area help the Children's Court make some decisions about Aboriginal kids. The decisions are about "care matters" so they are usually about where kids should live, who they see or services the family may need to help them care for their kids. More information is available on the Care Circles factsheet.
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Circle Sentencing

Circle Sentencing is an alternative sentencing court for adult Aboriginal offenders. It directly involves local Aboriginal people in the process of sentencing offenders, with the aims of making it more meaningful and improving confidence in the criminal justice system. It also empowers Aboriginal people to address criminal behaviour within their local communities.


More information is available on the Circle Sentencing factsheet.
Safe Aboriginal Youth (SAY) Program (formerly the Aboriginal Community Patrols Program)
The Safe Aboriginal Youth Program (SAY) was established in 2009 after a review of the former Aboriginal Community Patrols program. The SAY program provides two different youth support options, a Safe Aboriginal Youth Patrol and a Safe Aboriginal Youth Activity program. More information is available on the SAY factsheet.

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Last updated: 29 March 2011
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