Three Italian NGOs, Forum droghe/Fuoriluogo, Antigone, Società della ragione, have recently released a “White Book”, to illustrate the effects of drug legislation on the penal system (from 2006 until 2007).
While drug confiscation figures have fallen (-10.5%), the number of drug offenders reported to the judicial authorities has risen (+7.5%). There is a disproportionate number of migrants within this figure (+12%). The rate of prisoners using drugs (out of the total number of imprisoned people) has increased (+ 8.4%). Finally, alternatives to imprisonment are employed less often.
The trend is confirmed in the 2009 National report on drugs, presented by the Berlusconi government to the Italian Parliament. At the end of June 2008, the number of addict prisoners had risen by another 3.7%. The law, approved in 2006, upgraded cannabis to Schedule I, classing it among the most dangerous drugs like heroin and cocaine. Penalties for drug offenders have been increased and at present they range from 6 to 20 years of imprisonment, for all illicit drugs.