The New South Wales Youth Drug & Alcohol Court Program: Breaking the Ice in Australia

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


This presentation provides an overview of the New South Wales (NSW) Youth Drug and Alcohol Court (YDAC) program, currently the only dedicated adolescent drug court in Australia. The YDAC program commenced in July 2000, in response to recommendations from the NSW Drug Summit held in 1999, and is funded by
Commonwealth and State governments. The Court was set up to address the needs of young offenders between 14 and 18 years of age, who have alcohol and/or other drug (AOD) problems. The Court operates according to principles of therapeutic jurisprudence and aims to divert young offenders from further drug use and re-offending by providing intensive and specialist support in a number of key areas. The development of the program has involved amendments to legislation and major changes in court room styles and protocols to enable
the magistrate and legal officers to participate in the therapeutic process. The program has evolved from a trial in Western Sydney to an established and recognised program, covering the greater Sydney metropolitan area. This presentation outlines the key components of the YDAC program, including; eligibility criteria, screening and assessment procedures, the development of program plans and underlying therapeutic principles, case management and supervision arrangements, sentencing and aftercare, the unique multi-agency approach to service delivery developed by the YDAC program, and evaluation and research outcomes of the YDAC program. The presentation concludes with comments on the most recent review of the YDAC program and potential future directions for further program development.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventEuropean Society of Criminology Annual Conference 2008: Criminology in the Public Sphere - Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sep 20085 Sep 2008
Conference number: 8


ConferenceEuropean Society of Criminology Annual Conference 2008
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • youth justice
  • Drug Court model
  • Therapeutic jurisprudence
  • Case management
  • Alcohol and other drug misuse

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