Barbados will host a Drug Treatment Court (DTC) awareness and training workshop as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) responds to the crime and security situation in the region.
A statement from the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said that a number of representatives from the judiciary, wider legal sector and welfare will benefit from the June 4-6 event that is being facilitated by five DTCs experts from Canada.
It said DTCs are pivotal to rehabilitate and re-integrate persons who face incarceration for minor drug related offences and, in this way, enlarge the capacity of member states to offer alternatives to incarceration for drug users.
The training is part of the response under the Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) component of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Crime and Security Programme between the European Union and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM).
The DDR component seeks to strengthen institutional capacity of national and regional drug demand reduction entities and practitioners to effectively develop strategies and implement policies and programmes in CARIFORUM.
The Secretariat notes that the use of illicit drugs continues to rise in CARIFORUM countries and school and general population surveys/studies show a lowered age of first time users equally among males and females as well as more illicit substances consumption in transit countries.
“In this context, among the major challenges faced are the limited treatment and rehabilitation programmes and facilities for adolescents and young people as well as insufficient human resources and capabilities and facilities to deal with the increasing numbers of persons who require treatment under appropriate modalities. Studies on prison population also indicate a high level of inmates who are addicted to illicit substances.”
The CARICOM Secretariat said it has collaborated with the Organisation of American States-Inter American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS-CICAD) to implement this activity, which methodology uses both theoretical as well as simulation exercises.