Cannabis: Rehabilitation

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 15th November 2018.

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Photo of Liz Saville-Roberts Liz Saville-Roberts Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities) , Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Drug Rehabilitation Requirements with cannabis testing conditions on reducing rates of reoffending.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Drug Rehabilitation Requirements (DRRs) include a condition for regular drug testing. However, these are not specific to a drug.

There is good evidence from a Ministry of Justice (MOJ)-Public Health England (PHE) data share that community based drug and alcohol treatment can be effective in reducing reoffending. Recently published experimental statistics show that among those who committed an offence in the two years before undergoing drug or alcohol treatment, there was a 33% reduction in the number of offences they committed in the subsequent two years. Forty-four percent of offenders did not go on to reoffend in the subsequent two years following treatment.

We are working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and PHE to develop a protocol to support greater use of community sentences with treatment requirements (CSTRs) in courts, including DRRs.

The CSTR protocol focuses on reducing reoffending by addressing the health needs of offenders that may be contributing to their offending behaviour. This is operating across five courts within England (as health is devolved in Wales). These sites are Milton Keynes, Northampton, Birmingham, Sefton and Plymouth.

DHSC has led an evaluation of the implementation of the protocol across the five sites, looking at aspects of CSTRs that are working well and changes in the use of CSTRs over the evaluation period. The evaluation report will be published early next year.

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