Merit Program: The NSW Courts Diversionary Pathway for Drug & Alcohol Addicts

  What is the MERIT program? The MERIT program is an opportunity for those who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, who end up going to court to face criminal charges in the Local Court to assist in rehabilitation. ‘MERIT’ is an abbreviation for ‘Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment’. A plea of ‘guilty’ or ‘not ...continue reading

Drug Court Program and Eligibility in NSW

Poppy Morandin and Jimmy Singh.   Treating drug-related offenders, rather than resorting to sending them to prison, is far more effective in regard to addressing re-offending rates, according to research conducted by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW Sydney and the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR). Drug Court ...continue reading

NSW Police Commissioner Defends Officers Who Performed ‘Unlawful’ Arrest on Curtis Scott

By Poppy Morandin and Jimmy Singh.   NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has sought to defend the actions of police officers involved in the wrongful arrest of NRL player Curtis Scott. The bodycam footage of the arrest shown in court sparked outrage, with it depicting Scott, who was passed out drunk at the foot of ...continue reading

Can Police Search You Using a Drug Detection Dog in NSW?

By Poppy Morandin and Jimmy Singh.   Sniffer dog operations have reportedly returned following their apparent suspension due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sniff Off, a Greens campaign for police accountability, drug law reform and civil liberties, regularly reports on sightings of drug dog operations in order to raise the public awareness. They ...continue reading

Plot to Smuggle Drugs into Maximum-Security Jail Fails as Prison Officials Quickly Thwart Plan

By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.   It was an attempt to drop off drugs with the help of a drone to a maximum-security jail in New South Wales’ Hunter region that failed miserably – so miserably that neither the plan nor the drone actually took off. The plan all came undone on the morning ...continue reading

Interview With Charles Henderson, Deputy CEO of NSW Users & Aids Association (NUAA): Penalties for Supplying Magic Mushroom in NSW

By Poppy Morandin and Jimmy Singh.   A 19-year-old man faces life imprisonment after allegedly being found with 120 grams of ‘magic mushrooms’. The vehicle of the Raymond Terrace man was stopped and searched by police officers at Nelsons Plains, resulting in them allegedly uncovering more than 120 grams of the drug, a small amount ...continue reading

Concerns Reignited for Prisoners Amid Further Outbreaks of COVID-19

By Poppy Morandin.   There are reportedly 70 inmates in lockdown within Silverwater Correctional Complex after coming into close contact with a staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19.  Within their advocacy efforts, The Greens have issued an open letter to Anthony Roberts, Minister for Corrections detailing the “significant concerns…about the lockdown at Silverwater ...continue reading

Law on the Age of Criminal Responsibility in NSW: An Interview with Greens MP David Shoebridge

By Poppy Morandin and Jimmy Singh.   Despite a strong campaign to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14, the decision has been deferred to 2021, following concerns that further work needs to be done regarding processes and services for children who exhibit offending behaviour. The issue was discussed at the meeting ...continue reading

Two Men Snorted Cocaine in Front of Police Have Pleaded Guilty and Sentenced with a Non-Conviction

By Poppy Morandin & Jimmy Singh.   It would seem reasonable to assume that individuals would know better than to snort cocaine in plain sight and in front of police. However, 26-year-olds Mitchell Anthony Price and Keegan Brendan Moore seemed none the wiser to this fact as they embarked on a night out at Jerrabomberra ...continue reading

Smuggling Contraband Charges Result After Men Allegedly Try to Toss a Tennis Ball Stuffed with Drugs Over Prison Fence

By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.   Stuck in the confines of a correctional facility, where the comfort of contraband is a mere figment of the imagination, there are no means too extreme or absurd for the prisoner who is desperate to get their hands on prohibited items. From alcohol and drugs, to cigarettes and ...continue reading

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