Gold Coast Drug Council Inc - PO Box 2655, Burleigh MDC QLD 4220 - Phone: (07) 5535 4302 - Fax: (07) 5576 2512

DRUG COURT PROGRAM

This program is part of the Queensland Drug Court Pilot Program and helps drug dependent offenders to deal with their addiction(s) by combining treatment services, correctional programs, and frequent drug testing, with supervision by the Courts.

Who?
Drug Court clients are non-violent offenders, aged 18-29 years old, who enter the Mirikai Therapeutic Community on a suspended sentence undertaking an Intensive Drug Rehabilitation Order (IDRO) for a period specified by the Drug Court Magistrate. All potential clients are assessed by Queensland Health who refer the client to the Gold Coast Drug Council. An additional assessment then takes place to decide which particular Drug Court program the client is suited to.

How?
Residential participants join the Mirikai Therapeutic Community and, they are treated the same as other residents, except for certain conditions of the Drug Court program, such as extra urine testing and court attendance. The average length of stay for a Drug Court resident at Mirikai is approximately the same as other residents.

Mirikai Therapeutic Community Program
This is a residential program with each stage taking between six to eight weeks to complete. Successful completion of each stage is a necessary pre-requisite for progress onto the next. The last stage, reentry to the community through one of the commitment houses lasts around six months, depending on the individual.

For clients with a dual diagnosis, tailored educational and social activity programs have been developed to support them through the program.

Program Stages
Assessment and Admission - during the first three weeks after arrival, all residents will be thoroughly assessed. This includes examination by a medical practitioner, with residents requiring detox placed in an appropriate and safe setting. The program works closely with other services such as mental health services, hospitals, dentists, sexual health services, Centrelink and legal services to meet each individuals specific needs.

Safety Net
This is a six week intensive living and life skills program consisting of basic health and hygiene, self esteem, anger management, communication skills, relapse prevention, stress management, therapy and sports program.

Treatment
During this stage of the program, 6 to 8 weeks, there is a strong emphasis on teamwork and developing the ability to trust others. Residents learn how to have positive relationships and to change their belief systems. They begin to learn how to be responsible for their actions by helping other people, and maintaining the daily running of the program.

Re-entry
In this stage, there is an emphasis on work based future planning. Residents live in a commitment house (supported accommodation) to test these new found skills before moving back into the community.

Rules of the Mirikai Therapeutic Community
In order for the Therapeutic Community to function, there needs to be structure and rules that all residents agree to live by. While these might seem a bit overwhelming at first, people entering the community soon come to realise the importance of having clear guidelines for the day to day running of the program.

Where?
The Drug Court Program and Mirikai Therapeutic Community are based at 191 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads, Qld.

Cost?
This program is free of charge to clients. The Program is funded by the Queensland Department of Health.