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Courting Drugs – Punishment or Opportunity?

In this forum, we focus in on the role of the courts in matters concerning substance use. Our guest speakers will discuss the different approaches to justice being explored and that need to be explored in Victoria.
We will hear about how our justice system works to address issues of stigma, substance use and mental health – the many complex needs often at play with people who are charged for a drug offence.

Guest speakers: Dr. Nicholas Thomson, Elisa Buggy, Daniel Clements
  • Dr. Nicholas Thomson – Senior Health Advisor at ANU
    Nick Thomson is a current IAS-NIDA Fellow at the Centre for Public Health and Human Rights based at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Dr Thomson is also the program director of the Law Enforcement and Public Health program at the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health. Nick spent 12 years in SE Asia working with Johns Hopkins School of Public Health on research projects related to drug use and HIV in South East Asia. This experience resulted in him developing an interest in the role of the security sector (including its militaries and police forces) in global public health. He has spent the last few years engaging with the security sector in support of an enhanced understanding of its roles and obligations in global and public health. He is also on the UN expert advisory group on ending compulsory detention of drug users in South East Asia. His IAS-NIDA fellowship focuses on building multidisciplinary partnerships in response to HIV and HCV in complex settings.

  • Elisa Buggy – CEO of Flat Out
    Elisa Buggy has been at the crossroads of justice and alcohol and other drugs for more than 15 years. After cutting her teeth as a Social Worker in needle and syringe programs and AOD Counselling, she has also designed, built, and run drug courts in Australia, and spoken about therapeutic justice interventions all over the world. She now runs Flat Out – an organisation working with women who have been criminalised – as well as sitting on the Adult Parole Board and VAADA’s Board. In her spare time she currently spends her early mornings watching the Euro Cup!

  • Daniel Clements – Justice & Crime Prevention Programs, Jesuit Social Services Victoria
    Daniel Clements is General Manager, Justice and Crime Prevention Programs, for Jesuit Social Services in Victoria. He heads a large team of staff and volunteers in the delivery of support programs for children, young people and their families caught up in the criminal justice system and transitional support programs for men and women exiting prison.
    Daniel has a keen interest in building strong organisational cultures for change, and a passion for practice development and social justice. He works closely with government and non-government organisations including Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, Child and Family services, housing and homelessness organisations, and both clinical and mainstream services to build approaches, policies and practice that deliver effective services in community.

Daniel Clements – Slides

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