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Province Expands Drug Treatment Court to North Battleford

Released on May 9, 2024

Model has Proven Successful in Curbing Addiction and Reuniting Families

The Government of Saskatchewan is supporting the expansion of the Drug Treatment Court program to North Battleford, as part of the $574 million being invested in mental health and addiction services in the 2024-25 budget.

Drug Treatment Courts offer an alternative approach to offenders experiencing an addiction and facing drug and other charges. Drug courts offer a multi-phased program, including transition, stabilization and maintenance, that tracks and measures compliance, including minimum clean time and minimum time without re-offending.

When participants have met all conditions for graduation (including over 200 hours of class time, satisfactory treatment progress, a minimum of three months without drugs, six months crime free, involvement in drug-free social activities, employment or school attendance and a long-term recovery plan), they are sentenced on the charges that they originally pleaded guilty to when they entered the program.

"Increasing treatment options and investing in services to support people dealing with addictions challenges are priorities for the Government of Saskatchewan,” Premier Scott Moe said. “Therapeutic courts improve lives, communities and families by promoting proactive and transformative change that give individuals the skills they need to create a successful and sustainable future for themselves.”

There are currently two Drug Treatment Court programs in Saskatchewan. The Regina Drug Treatment Court was established in 2006, and now sits weekly. It receives approximately 40 referrals a year and accepts about 20 participants. The Moose Jaw Drug Treatment Court opened in 2009, sits twice a month, and serves up to seven participants at a time. Since both Drug Treatment Courts were launched, over 140 graduates have completed the programs in Moose Jaw and Regina.

"The Drug Treatment Court model focuses on intensive counselling, rehabilitation and reunion with families and has been a proven success here and in other jurisdictions," Justice Minister and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre said. "Most importantly, it is part of the Government of Saskatchewan's addictions strategy to meet those suffering from addictions 'where they are,' but not to leave them there."

The North Battleford Drug Treatment Court will start operation in late Fall 2024.

“By working together to address root causes of addictions, we can find a path toward a safer community for everyone,” Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill said. “North Battleford will benefit from this new service for years to come.”

Graduates of the Drug Treatment Court have also become advocates for the program. A 2014 graduate stated the following:

“Drug court taught me how to live again, to stabilize from decades of chaos, addiction and criminal lifestyle," Regina Drug Treatment Court 2014 graduate Susan Sebulsky said. "It taught me to believe in myself and I could accomplish anything. Drug court gave my family back their daughter, and it showed me how to be a responsible parent, drug court saved me from losing the battle with addiction.”

In 2024-25, Saskatchewan drug treatments courts will receive approximately $1.7 million from the Government of Saskatchewan, cost-shared equally with the federal government. Of this funding, $240,000 is being dedicated to the expansion of the Drug Treatment court program to North Battleford.

“Substance misuse is a complex health, social, and economic issue that requires a compassionate and holistic approach,” Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Arif Virani said. “By increasing access to treatment services, and promoting the use of rehabilitation programs rather than incarceration, we treat opioid and other drug misuse as a health concern, rather than a criminal one. By continuing to support Drug Treatment Courts through the Drug Treatment Court Funding Program, we help participants break the cycle of drug misuse and criminal re-offending.”



For more information, contact:

Kerri Ward-Davis
Phone: 306-787-5538
Cell: 306-533-2170

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