The use of punishments such as incarceration for those involved in the illicit drug trade has long been relied upon a deterrent. However, it has resulted in the imposition of disproportionate sentencing (including the use of the death penalty) and overcrowded prisons, with high risks to health, social cohesion and human rights. Some countries and jurisdictions are now moving towards decriminalisation, alternatives to prison and the regulation of some markets.
Since coming to power in 2006, the current Canadian government has persisted in attempting to push its tough-on-crime agenda, including the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug crimes—despite the proven failure of such measures in the U.S. context.
This TNI briefing paper sheds light on the methamphetamine market in Southeast Asia and China, including patterns of supply and use. It highlights the urgent need for donors and governments to introduce effective harm reduction measures aimed at ATS users.
International coalitions of harm reduction experts, applauded the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada to uphold the human rights of all Canadians by allowing Insite - Vancouver's life-saving supervised injection site - to remain open.
The 6th European Conference on the Promotion of Health in Prison will focus on the theme "Patients or prisoners - Towards equity in care in prison", in order to provide new responses to the major challenges to care in prison.
Thailand's new Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, is mobilising a crackdown on illegal drugs as a United Nations agency reveals a massive increase in the production and use of amphetamines across Asia.
In 1986, Congress enacted severe mandatory minimum sentences, condemning thousands of mostly low-level, mostly nonviolent drug offenders to years, sometimes decades in prison. Please call on the Congress to reform sentencing for drugs offences.