GEORGETOWN, Guyana – A number of representatives from the judiciary, wider legal sector and welfare sectoR in Barbados will benefit from a Drug Treatment Court (DTC) awareness and training workshop on June 4-6, 2018, at the Savannah Beach Hotel in Hastings.

Judges, magistrates, defence attorneys, prosecutors, probation officers and drug treatment providers will be exposed to three days of training facilitated by five DTCs Experts from Canada.

DTCs are pivotal to rehabilitate and re-integrate  persons who face incarceration for minor drug related offences and, in this way, enlarge the capacity of Member States to offer alternatives to incarceration for drug users.

The training is part of the response under the Drug Demand Reduction (DDR)  component of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Crime and Security Programme between the European Union and CARIFORUM. The DDR component seeks to strengthen institutional capacity of national and regional drug demand reduction entities and practitioners to effectively develop strategies and implement policies and programmes in CARIFORUM.

The use of illicit drugs continues to rise in CARIFORUM countries and school and general poulation surveys/studies show a lowered age of first time users  equally among males and females as well as  more illicit substances consumption in transit countries.

In this context, among the  major challenges faced  are the limited treatment and rehabilitation programmes and facilities for adolescents and young people as well as insufficient human resources and capabilities and facilities to deal with the increasing numbers of persons who require treatment under appropriate modalities.

Studies on prison population also indicate a high level of inmates who are addicted to illicit substances.

The CARICOM Secretariat has collaborated with the Organisation of American States-Inter American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS-CICAD) to implement this activity, which methodology uses both theoretical as well as simulation exercises.

The workshop opens with a brief programme  at 9. a.m. under the chairmanship of Justice Randall Worrell, Char of the Barbados Drug Treatment Court Steering Committee.  A number of Remarks will be given, including by CARICOM Secretariat Assistant Secretary-General for Human and Social Development, Dr. Douglas Slater and Barbados’ Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs , Hon. Dale Marshall, Q.C., M.P