Limiting the number of drug diversions

What we’ll do

A Marshall Liberal Government will stop people using the drug diversion program to avoid consequences for drug offences by limiting participation in the program to a maximum of twice before an individual is charged.

Limiting the number of occasions an offender can participate in drug diversion will:

  • send a message to offenders to take drug diversion seriously
  • reduce the amount of work that police must do to repeatedly arrange for participation in the programs
  • free up drug diversion resources for offenders more likely to genuinely attempt to utilise rehabilitation services.

Offenders who use drug diversion responsibly and get themselves back on track will not be affected.

Why we’re doing it

Currently people found possessing drugs must be provided with the opportunity to participate in an accredited drug diversion program.

There is no limit on the number of times an offender can participate in a program and some offenders have continuously opted to take part as a way of avoiding more serious punishment.

A 10-year review of the program revealed that, while compliance with diversions was high, it tended to decrease as the number of diversions per individual increased.

Taxpayers’ money and police resources have been wasted in the abuse of these programs. It is unacceptable for people to be able to use drug diversion programs to enable them to avoid facing court for repeated drug offences.

That’s why we will cap the number of diversions an individual can participate in before being formally charged to ensure no one is abusing the process.