Member for Ballina Don Page offers his support to Ballina couple Chris and John Woods who are campaigning for drug rehabilitation centres in jails.
Member for Ballina Don Page offers his support to Ballina couple Chris and John Woods who are campaigning for drug rehabilitation centres in jails. Northern Star/Cathy Adams

Abused parents unite

CHRIS and John Woods are back home.

The couple had to move out of their home for two months for repairs to be completed after their son trashed it while high on the drug 'ice'.

Their 35-year-old son, a long-term drug user, is now serving a two-year jail sentence for other crimes.

Mrs Woods said media coverage of their plight had brought her into contact with many other parents who had faced the same terrifying situation.

That is why Mrs Woods wants to start a parents' group on the Northern Rivers to support people in danger physically and emotionally from their drug-addicted children.

The first meeting of the group will be held at 7pm on Tuesday, October 14, at Fripp Oval clubhouse, Canal Road, Ballina.

“I hope we will get quite a few people come and join the group and talk about their experiences so they can be there for each other,” Mrs Woods said.

Mrs Woods also wants to have drug rehabilitation mandatory inside NSW prisons for any prisoner sentenced on a drug-related charge.

“What they have now is counselling and some jails have more counselling opportunities than others,” she said.

“We need to have a 12-step rehabilitation program in the jails which gets them to work on themselves.”

Ballina MP Don Page took up the fight for Mrs Woods in the NSW Parliament when he asked Justice Minister John Hatzistergos' representative, David Campbell, during question time on Thursday about having drug rehabilitation programs inside prisons and giving magistrates the option of making drug rehabilitation mandatory during sentencing.

“I have also written to the Minister in relation to the need for drug rehabilitation programs for prisoners convicted for drug-related matters while they are in jail,” Mr Page said.

“If they attend a program in jail they are more likely to get a job when they come out and running programs in jail would be more cost-effective because prisoners are in central locations.

“When they come out they disperse, and getting them to undergo rehabilitation could be more expensive for taxpayers.”



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