In some circumstances, people facing criminal charges in court may be referred to a rehabilitation, treatment or intervention program that is intended to address underlying problems, such as:
The magistrate or judicial officer will adjourn the case while a defendant participates in the diversion program.
Other court programs provide an alternative forum for hearing a case or negotiating an outcome.
This specialist court offers special programs to reduce reoffending by adults who are dependent on drugs.
Visit the Drug Court website for more information.
A number of treatment and intervention referral programs are offered at the local court. This is a summary of the diversion programs in the local court.
CREDIT is due to cease service delivery on 31 May 2017 and will be replaced by the Extra Offender Management Service (EOMS)
The EOMS will operate differently to CREDIT. It will only service offenders with a medium to high risk of reoffending.
EOMS will focus on addressing criminogenic needs, whereas CREDIT primarily provided access to support services.
The MERIT program is available in the local court to give adult defendants with drug or alcohol problems the opportunity to undertake a voluntary rehabilitation program as part of the bail process.
People can nominate themselves or be identified by the magistrate, solicitor or police as suitable for assessment for the MERIT program.
Visit the MERIT website for more information.
This program, offered by the NSW Department of Roads and Maritime Services, targets offenders who have pleaded guilty or been found guilty of traffic offences in the local court.
The Traffic Offender Intervention Program is a community-based, road safety education program. It provides offenders with the information and skills necessary to develop positive attitudes towards driving and become safer drivers.
Find out more about TOIPs.
The DVCIM program operates at Wagga Wagga and Campbelltown Local Court and is an integrated criminal justice and community social welfare response to domestic violence. Where the matter is appropriate for prosecution, DVCIM provide witness preparation and ensures victim safety and support is addressed.
For more information see the booklet
Your court, your safety: a guide to going to court to get help with domestic violence [PDF 322kb].
Forum Sentencing brings together an offender, the victim 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.
Visit the Forum Sentencing website for more information.
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.
Find more information about Circle Sentencing on the Judicial Commission website.
The Cognitive Impairment Diversion Program (CIDP) aims to increase the diversion of people with cognitive impairment and low level offending away from the criminal justice system and into appropriate community based-services. The program expands existing diversion arrangements in NSW local courts and maximises opportunities created by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). By providing individually tailored early intervention programs it aims to provide an opportunity for people that have often fallen through the cracks to get the support they need to participate in the community. It also provides potential NDIS applicants with evidence that can assist their NDIS application or plan development.
The CIDP will be available at Penrith and Gosford Local Courts for two years commencing October 2017.
Or visit the website at www.localcourt.justice.nsw.gov.au
An Evaluation [PDF] and Cost-Benefit Analysis [PDF] was undertaken of the CIDP program in 2017-18 and reported in April 2019.
The information on this site is a guide only and is not legal advice - see disclaimer.