In an initiative promoted by the Organization of American States (OAS), 40 judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment providers and other professions in the healthcare and justice fields in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, The Bahamas, and Grenada will be trained this week in Canada on the workings of Drug Treatment Courts (DTCs), a model that proves to be an effective measure as an alternative to incarceration for violators who are addicted to drugs.

“The OAS is supporting the model of Drug Treatment Courts in the hemisphere as an effective and efficient tool to treat violators who are addicted to drugs and achieve a reduction in drug consumption, lower crime rates and help to reduce the criminal population in the region,” said Ambassador Paul Simons, Executive Secretary of the OAS Inter-American Commission for Drug Abuse Control (CICAD). 

The project, by the CICAD and the Canadian Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals (CADTCP), began today and will conclude Friday, March 2, in the city of Toronto. The CICAD and the CADTCP are in the process of signing a cooperation agreement that will allow this effort to continue over the next two years. Various members of the hemispheric Organization already have a calendar of activities for the start of pilot projects in this modality.

The seminar is divided into two parts, and in the first half of the week participants will attend a practical training program that includes a visit to a DTC. The more than forty Caribbean delegates will be taught based on a real case, and later will visit healthcare institutions for people with drug addictions where they will have the opportunity to observe the treatment protocol used. Afterwards they will have first-hand experience of a real session before a hearing, where cases are followed up on and progress is evaluated.

In the second half of the week, the delegates will attend the Fourth Conference of the CADTCP, where they will have the opportunity to present the problems they face, as well as attend workshops on the subject. In this workshop visit the delegates will be able to interact with hundreds of experts from Canada in the different areas that participate in a DTC.

More information is available here

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