For public holiday hours, please contact this service.
Billing: Other Option
This service, MERIT (Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment) is a special 12 week voluntary program based in Local Courts that provides defendants the have been charged with a non indictable crime and have an existing drug problem to work towards rehabilitation as part of the bail process. Participants can be identified by the Magistrate, solicitor, police or the defendant themselves as suitable for assessment for the MERIT program. MERIT Teams, based in NSW Health or non-government organisations conduct the assessment of participants. Based on the assessment, the defendant may be accepted into MERIT to receive targeted drug treatment. All clients managed through the service will be allocated a case manager who will provide individual counseling and treatment planning. Services offered include access to Detoxification, Opiate Treatment Services and Drug and Alcohol Group Programs. This program provides reports to the local courts on the participant’s progress throughout the program. The Court may make the defendant's involvement in MERIT a condition of bail.The Cumberland Hospital Forensic Service works closely with the Parramatta and Blacktown Local Courts to provide access for clients to drug and alcohol counseling prior to the completion of their Court matters.