Evaluation of the Lismore MERIT Pilot Program: Final Report


The Lismore Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment (MERIT) Pilot Program, a pre-plea early court intervention, was planned by the NSW Government in response to recommendations from the Drug Summit held in May 1999. It was run as a pilot program for two years from July 2000, with an evaluation commissioned by the Attorney General’s Department. This report is the final report from that evaluation. The target population of the Lismore MERIT Pilot Program was adult defendants at Lismore and surrounding Local Courts, who had a demonstrable drug problem, were eligible for bail, and who were motivated to engage in treatment for their illicit drug problems. The aim of the research project was to formally evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the LMPP. The intended outcomes of the program were: decreased drug-related crime, decreased illicit drug use, as well as improved health and social functioning among participants, both during the program and following completion, plus reduced sentences due to better rehabilitation prospects. The concluding remarks state that the LMPP appears to have been successfully implemented, with the evaluation findings suggesting that it has achieved its intended outcomes.

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Published by the NSW Attorney Generalês Department, October 2003 ISBN 0 7347 2819 0 Copyright This website contains information, data, documents, pages and images ("the Material") prepared by the Department of Justice. The Material is subject to copyright under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), and is owned by the State of New South Wales through the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice encourages the availability, dissemination and exchange of public information. You may copy, distribute, display, download and otherwise freely deal with the Material for any purpose, on the condition that you include the copyright notice "© State of New South Wales through the Department of Justice" on all uses. You must, however, obtain permission from the Department of Justice if you wish to: charge others for access to the work (other than at cost) include all or part of the work in advertising or in a product for sale, or modify the work. To ask for permission, please contact the Community Relations Unit. This copyright statement applies to all Justice agencies,other than the Crown Solicitor's Office. It does not, however, apply to court transcripts, which may not be reproduced or copied without the permission of the Department of Justice. This copyright statement does not apply to any third party works appearing in the Material.