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Extension of Drug Treatment Court agreed between the Health Service Executive and the Courts Service

To enable an increased number of people participate in the Drug Treatment Court, the Health Service Executive and the Courts Service have agreed to admit: (a) people residing in all areas of Dublin county north of the river Liffey and (b) people receiving treatment in the Castle Street Drug Treatment Centre which provides services to people with addresses in Dublin 2, 4, 6 and 8. The Drug Treatment Court has been operating since 2000 and until now could only accept people with addresses in Dublin 1, 3 and 7.

The extension of the catchment area will be piloted from this week for six months, following which an assessment will be conducted to consider whether or not the capacity exists to extend it to people from the remainder of the county of Dublin. The existing resources provided to the Court will continue to be allocated.

Welcoming the move the Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr. Alan Shatter T.D., said: "I am pleased to learn that the Drug Treatment Court will now be in a position to deal with offenders from a much wider catchment area. The support and co-operation of the HSE was vital to allow the extension of this valuable initiative which will allow the Court an opportunity to operate to its full potential".

Courts Service CEO Mr. Brendan Ryan said of the extended court; "There are many lives rescued from the curse of addiction thanks to the efforts of the judge and members of the Drug Treatment Court Team. There are countless more people who have avoided the hurt which would have been caused if these addictions had not been tackled. I am pleased that this initiative will now offer more people targeted and streamlined services. I believe this imaginative and unique approach offers a real chance for rehabilitation - for the restoration of the individual back into society - as an asset to the community."