Drug Treatment Court, Possible Option for Island

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Adriel Braithwaite, Attorney General of Barbados. (FP)??

Government should soon be pursuing a Drug Treatment Court (DTC) as an option to help non-violent offenders who have been charged with simple drug possession.

Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite disclosed that a specialised community court which would assist in the reduction of drug abuse, addiction and related criminal activity, is being considered as a possible option for this island.

Mr. Brathwaite said his Ministry, in collaboration with the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA), will hold a DTC sensitisation workshop on Tuesday, June 19, and Wednesday, June 20, at the Hilton Barbados, to further explore how the setting up of a DTC Model would be of benefit to this country.

This workshop follows a recent participation in the Drug Treatment Court Study Visit Exchange Programme and the Canadian Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals’ Fourth International Conference on Problem Solving Courts and Innovative Approaches to Justice in Toronto, Canada, which was attended by the Attorney General and other government officials.

Speaking about the DTC Model he said: "The methodology employed utilises the option of court-supervised treatment alternatives to incarceration which incorporate drug treatment instead of jail sentences, for non-violent offenders."

Mr. Brathwaite further underscored that the General Secretariat of the Organization of the American States (OAS), through the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission for Multidimensional Security, has pledged to support Barbados in launching a DTC Pilot Project. This will provide training and technical assistance to enable exploration regarding the creation of such a facility.

The workshop will bring together professionals from the judiciary, health sector, and treatment and rehabilitation, probation, social services and law enforcement entities, to address issues related to drug treatment and criminal behaviour; provide practical examples of the considerations which are taken into account when establishing a DTC Model, and the tools utilised when processing cases through DTC.??

It will also explore the time frame needed to establish the framework for a DTC Model.??????

theresa.blackman@barbados.gov.bb

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