Drug Treatment Court Pilot
A Drug Treatment Court is court designed to supervise cases of drug offenders who agree to participate in treatment for their substance abuse. The concept of the Drug Treatment Court is to combine traditional justice processes with treatment options. The main driver behind the success of this Court is the offenders' willingness to accept responsibility for their addictions and agree to enter into Court supervised treatment.
The Drug Treatment Court was launched as a Pilot to inform legislation for wider implementation in selected locales throughout Trinidad and Tobago. The Pilot will be executed in dual phases for adults and juvenile target groups.
The project seeks to:-
- Implement a Drug Treatment Court as a restorative justice approach.
- Provide a less expensive option to incarceration.
- Present a mechanism that encourages the rehabilitation of drug offenders
- Promote the reduction in crime and recidivism increasing the health and welfare of the wider community
- Make available a supervised judicial mechanism to address non violent offenders with substance abuse problems
- Offer a mechanism to reduce the flood of these types of cases in the court system
Implementation of DTC's in Trinidad and Tobago is expected to assist all cross sections of the national community including the Judicial System, Drug Offenders, Law Enforcement, Government, the public.
The Judicial System by
- Reducing the backlog of cases in the Courts. Success of drug treatment programs will inadvertently impact positively on the heavy and increasing workload of our Courts.
- Minimizing the burden and costs of repeatedly processing low-level nonviolent offenders through the Nation's courts, jail and prisons.
- Lessening police overtime and other witness costs, as well as jury expenses that would have been required if these cases were to proceed to the High Court.
- Decreasing the number of drug related offences.
- Increasing public trust and confidence in the judicial system as an implementer of positive change and national development.
To Drug Offenders by
- Improving participants' lifestyle by rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
- Improving life skills, communication etc through the developmental programs of the treatment providers.
- Reintroducing a sense of self worth and pride to the participant.
To Law Enforcement by
- Increasing resource availability and focus- Free law enforcement agents to channel more energy and resources into addressing more serious crimes.
To the Government by
- Assisting in its fight against the escalating drug problem plaguing the country and in attempts to restore the country's image on the international arena.
To the Public by
- Promoting a healthier and safer society.
- The Ministry of National Security
- The Police Service of Trinidad and Tobago
- The Prisons Services
- The National Drug Council
- The Ministry of Justice
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development
- Ministry of Local Government
- Ministry of the Attorney General's Office
- The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
- The Organisation of American States (Observer status)
- Drug Treatment Centres
- NGO's and Faith Based Organisations
- The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD)