Barbados Signs Agreement on Drug Treatment Court Project

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Above: Bridgetown (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Barbados has signed an agreement with the Organization of American States to implement a pilot Drug Treatment Court project.

The initiative seeks to promote judicially-supervised treatment alternatives to incarceration for drug offenders.

Barbados Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and Angela Crowdy, Acting Assistant Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, signed the agreement this week.

Barbados is one of several countries that have begun using new methods for dealing with drug offenders, including Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

“From my end, I have bought into the concept of a drug treatment court,” Brathwaite said. “I believe our role is to save as many of our young men and young women as possible.”

The OAS is using the programme to support regional countries to find “better ways” to treat individuals with drug abuse problems, prevent violence and promote security — along with mitigating judicial backlogs.

The CICAD Executive Secretariat will meet with Barbados’ Drug Treatment Court committee to work out an action plan for 2013-2014.

What the court will do is enable us to sit down as a team and do exactly what we are presently doing, but with one objective, the objective is that we want to save the participant — not the defendant, not the criminal, the participant,” Brathwaite said.