Justice and Public Safety
May 17, 2017

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety:

Minister Parsons Announces New Drug Treatment Court Pilot Project

Mr. Speaker, in June of last year, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Federal Government announced funding to determine whether it is feasible to implement a Drug Treatment Court in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that following a tremendous amount of work by our working group and advisory committee, the feasibility study is complete and we are now proceeding with the planning for a new Drug Treatment Court pilot project in St. John’s.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the working group, John Duggan, Trish LeGresley and Michelle Greene, for their hard work and dedication to this project. Also, I would like to recognize the advisory committee which consisted of various government agencies, provincial court, and the private bar. I also wish to thank community groups for their collaboration throughout.

Mr. Speaker, this court, which we expect to open in 2018, is intended for offenders with serious drug addictions, who commit non-violent, drug-motivated offences. It brings together treatment services for substance abuse and the criminal justice system to deal more effectively with the drug addicted offenders. This problem-solving approach offers an alternative to traditional criminal justice responses by addressing the underlying problems that contribute to crime.

This government strongly believes in restorative justice and recognizes the need to find innovative approaches to the administration of justice.

Thank you.

2017 05 17                              2:35 p.m.