The CREDIT program is a voluntary crime prevention program currently in its trial stages that provides offenders a wide range of treatments and services to assist them and reduce their chances of reoffending. Depending on the type and number of issues the program may last up to 6 months.
CREDIT stands for Court Referral of Eligible Defendants into Treatment. The aim of the program is to reduce reoffending rates. CREDIT attracts adult offenders who are motivated to address issues relating or indirectly relating to the offending behaviour.
Why should my son/daughter choose to do the CREDIT program?
Choosing to do the CREDIT program presents significant benefits including:
- Potentially leading to a lesser sentence
- Enabling your son/daughter to improve their long-term quality of life
- Helping your son/daughter break the cycle of crime. This reduces their chances of reoffending and being called before a court on criminal charges again.
Unlike other crime prevention programs your son/daughter does not need to plead guilty to access the program.
Choosing to do the CREDIT program is not an easy option. Your son/daughter must be aware that a failure to complete the program may reflect badly on them during sentencing. However if your son/daughter has a strong desire to address their underlying issues it is worth considering the CREDIT program if they are eligible.
Is my son/daughter eligible to do the CREDIT program?
Your son/daughter must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the program:
- Be over the age of 18
- Appearing before either Burwood or Tamworth Local Court
- Have issues that they would like to address that relate to their current situation.
They are disqualified from the program if your son/daughter:
- Have been refused bail for their current charge
- Are charged for a sexual offence
- Have been convicted of a sexual offence in the last 5 years
- Are currently being supervised by the Department of Corrective Services
What is involved in the CREDIT Program?
If accepted into the CREDIT program a caseworker will sit down with your son/daughter to identify areas where they may benefit from assistance. The caseworker will assist them enrol in appropriate services, which may include:
- Financial counselling
- Mental health assessment
- Suicide counselling
- Income support
- Domestic violence or sexual assault support
- Drug assessment and treatment
- Alcohol misuse and treatment
- Education, training or employment support
- Disability services
Once a participant has completed the program a caseworker will prepare a report that advises the Magistrate about what the participant did to address the areas that were identified. The report is prepared prior to sentencing which enables the Magistrate to consider participation of the program when issuing a sentence.
If your son, daughter or any other relative are eligible for the CREDIT program please call us for further assistance and representation.
WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.