Forensic Screening and Assessment Tool
In late July 2018 ACSO will be introducing a new forensic screening and assessment tool. This tool is a key component of the new Forensic Alcohol and Other Drugs Treatment Service Delivery Model designed in collaboration between the Department of Justice and Regulation, Department of Health and Human Services and the alcohol and drug treatment sector.
Further information about the tool is located on the News page.
If you wish to find out how to locate and print the new forensic screening and assessment documents on Penelope please refer to the ‘The Forensic Assessment and Screening Documents in Penelope’ information sheet on the COATS Fact Sheets page.
Community Offender Advice and Treatment Services (COATS)
Established in 1997 COATS is a state-wide intake, assessment and referral service that administers both State funded and Commonwealth funded treatment pathways for clients in contact with the Justice System or at risk of coming into contact with the Justice System. ACSO is contracted to deliver specialist forensic drug and alcohol assessments, treatment planning and brokerage (including purchase of) Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) treatment for consumers referred from the criminal justice system, providing a link between justice and drug treatment services.
The COATS program includes provision of specialist forensic AOD intake and assessment services for a range of justice services including Community Corrections, Courts and the Adult Parole Board. COATS will also arrange and broker Assessment and Treatment services with community-based AOD services for Youth Justice, Specialist Courts, and Diversion Programs such as Police Drug Diversion.
Click here to watch a short video about our COATS and RAPIDS Programs.
COATS Assessments - COATS provide specialist forensic AOD assessments statewide for a range of justice clients including clients on community dispositions, serving prison sentences, and facing sentencing before the court.
Community Correctional Services- COATS provide assessments for clients being considered or placed on a community corrections order with an AOD assess and treat condition on their order. These assessments either take place in community or in prison when a client is placed on parole. COATS also undertake assessments for the Adult Parole Board for clients being considered for parole. Referrals can be sent by corrections staff.
RAPIDS-(Rapid Assessment Prevention Intervention and Diversion Service). A COATS program for corrections clients being considered for community disposition and who are considered at high risk due to AOD substances. RAPIDS clients receive a more immediate response due to risk concerns and are provided with bridging support between assessment and engagement with treatment. Referrals can be sent by corrections staff.
Step Out- A COATS program which provides drug and alcohol assessments and treatment planning to people with a substance abuse problem when they are released from prison on straight release. Participation in this program is voluntary, and therefore there are no reporting requirements. Referral can be sent by Assessment and Transition Coordinators located at Victorian prisons and the Reconnect program.
Pre Sentence - COATS provides an assessment service available to the court whilst a client is on remand or bail. This pre-sentence assessment and report can be used to help inform sentencing decisions. Referral to treatment is not made until sentencing is delivered and client is placed on a community corrections order. Referrals are sent by the court staff on behalf of the Magistrate.
Melton Pre-Charge Diversion Pilot - The pre-charge methylamphetamine pilot project aims to divert first-time offenders, whose non-violent offending behaviour is driven by their methylamphetamine use, into a drug treatment program. The pilot has been developed by Victoria Police in collaboration with COATS and the Department of Health and Human Services (DH&HS). COATS provide a RAPID assessment service to Victoria Police. The project will be conducted in Melton Police Service Area (equivalent to the Melton Local Government Area). Referrals can be sent by Victoria Police Members in the pilot locations.
Southern Metropolitan Alcohol Diversion Pilot Program - The Southern Metropolitan Alcohol Diversion Pilot Program will be offered to clients’, who have had in excess of 7 arrests for Drunk in a Public Place or Drunk and Disorderly behaviour and who have accrued a significant amount of debts in unpaid infringements. At the time of arrest they will be informed of the Alcohol Diversion Program and offered an opportunity to participate in the program. This is a voluntary program and should participation be declined by the client, they will continue through the normal legal processes. COATS provide a RAPID assessment service to Victoria Police. Referrals can be sent by Victoria Police Members in the pilot location.
COATS Brokerage- Referral to Assessment Services
COATS broker and arrange AOD Assessment for Youth Justice, Specialist Courts, and Diversion Programs such as Police Drug Diversion, with community based AOD assessment and treatment services.
These assessments can be provided by the following DHHS funded AOD services
Aboriginal Services; Youth Services, Adult Catchment based intake and assessment services.
COATS Brokerage- Referral to Treatment Services
COATS broker and arrange purchasing of AOD treatment for Corrections Victoria, Youth Justice, Specialist Courts, and Diversion Programs such as Police Drug Diversion, with community based AOD assessment and treatment services.
Treatment can be provided by the following DHHS funded AOD services, Aboriginal Services; Youth Services, Residential Services, Adult Non residential treatment.
Note: If you are agency that does not receive DHHS funding to be brokered forensic clients by COATS, but wish to explore this for your agency, you must contact your Divisional Department of Health representative.