Legally Coerced Treatment for Heroin Addicted Offenders: Ethical and Policy Issues

Tue Jun 29 2010

The New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research will host a seminar by Professor Wayne Hall on� Legally Coerced Treatment for Heroin Addicted Offenders: Ethical and Policy Issues at the Metcalfe Auditorium, State Library of NSW between 10.00-11.00am on Wednesday, 14 July 2010.

Wayne Hall is an NHMRC Australia Fellow in addiction neuroethics at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research. He was formerly:� Professor of Public Health Policy in the School of Population Health� (2005-2010) and Director of the Office of Public Policy and Ethics at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (2001-2005) at the University of Queensland; and Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW (1994-2001).� He has advised the World Health Organization on: the health effects of cannabis use; the effectiveness of drug substitution treatment; the scientific quality of the Swiss heroin trials; the contribution of illicit drug use to the global burden of disease; and the ethical implications of genetic and neuroscience� research on addiction. In 2001 he was identified by the Institute for Scientific Analysis as one of the world’s most highly cited social scientists in the past 20 years. He was awarded an NHMRC Australia Fellowship in 2009 to research the public health, social policy and ethical implications of genetic and neuroscience research on drug use and addiction.

Legally coerced addiction treatment is provided as an alternative to imprisonment for persons who have been charged with or convicted of an offence to which their drug dependence has contributed e.g. drug distribution or property offences committed to fund their drug use. This paper, conducted in collaboration with Dr Jayne Lucke from the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, outlines the case for providing such treatment, describes the various ways in which such treatment can be provided at different stages in the criminal justice system; discusses the ethical issues raised by using different degrees of legal coercion and different types of addiction treatment (e.g. drug free TCs and opioid maintenance treatment); and briefly reviews the evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this approach to treating addicted offenders. In the light of this evidence, the paper considers the evidence base for and policy issues raised by New South Wales Compulsory Drug Treatment Program. �

RSVPs are essential for catering purposes. Please e-mail to or ring 02 9231 9190.

7 July 2010

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