Wednesday 11 July 2007
SENTENCING AMENDMENT BILL 2007 (No. 31)
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, there is no doubt that drug addiction is behind many of the crimes committed in Tasmania. There is also no doubt that criminals addicted to drugs are more likely to re-offend. It is a vicious cycle that we, as a community, must find ways to break, and this bill is a step in that direction.
The drug treatment order which this bill facilitates is a sensible approach for the sentencing of adult drug addicts who have committed crimes, as it focuses on rehabilitation and reintegration into the community, rather than punishment alone.
Magistrates, as suggested in the bill, will have an ongoing role in reviewing an offender's progress under a drug treatment order and they will also have a number of options to deal with offenders who lapse in their progress towards rehabilitation.
This bill, Mr President, provides magistrates dealing with drug-related offences a large amount of discretion and flexibility, and that is to be commended. I totally agree that this bill is a major innovation in addressing illicit drug-use behavior of offenders in the criminal justice system, and I support it with some hope but also some enthusiasm.