|Titre :||Drugs, crime and decriminalization. Assessing the impact of drug decriminalisation policies on the efficiency and integrity of the criminal justice system|
|Auteurs :||J. MAGSON|
|Type de document :||Rapport|
|Editeur :||London : Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT), 2014|
|Format :||52 p.|
|Discipline :||LOI (Loi et son application / Law enforcement)|
Thésaurus TOXIBASEDECRIMINALISATION ; CRIMINALITE ; JUSTICE ; PRISON ; PRODUIT ILLICITE ; CANNABIS ; POSSESSION DE DROGUE ; MODELE
Thésaurus GéographiqueROYAUME-UNI ; PORTUGAL ; REPUBLIQUE TCHEQUE ; URUGUAY
In recent decades a number of countries have moved away from a prohibitionist model of drug control towards policies that prioritise harm reduction and rehabilitation, with the goal of reducing demand and minimising the social and individual harms caused by drug abuse. In Portugal and the Czech Republic, low-threshold possession of any drug is a misdemeanour rather than a criminal offence, diverting users away from the criminal justice system and in the case of Portugal, providing support through newly created Dissuasion Commissions. The authorities in Uruguay have long decriminalised drug possession and are now on the cusp of regulating the supply and distribution of cannabis. Drug use and abuse continues in all three countries but demand has remained stable and notable successes have been observed. […]
Drawing on meetings with officials in Portugal, the Czech Republic and Uruguay it explains some of the lessons we can learn from their experiences, as the government works to support recovery and reduce demand in the UK. There are four main findings to this report that together reinforce arguments in support of the diversion of possession cases away from the criminal justice system;
* Enhanced efficiency and streamlined processes: All the different strands of the system (police, courts, prisons, and probation) should to differing extents make efficiency gains, see a gradual fall in their caseload and a longer-term trend of enhanced trust with the individuals they are working with. The police in particular are likely to see their work dealing with drug users simplified. These improvements depend on reform being enacted with a proper prioritization of diversion to health and social support, attention to practical detail and clear strategic vision.
* Feasibility: A diversionary system would in the first instance require limited statutory change and fairly minor adjustments to staff procedures, and the UK is in the strong position of being able to draw on and expand existing pilots and national schemes supporting rehabilitation.
* Opportunities for greater strategic and structural coherence: Effective rehabilitation in Portugal was enabled by a strategic shift towards multidisciplinary oversight, reflecting the complex needs of problematic users and the diverse impact of drug abuse on areas such as health, employment, education and housing. The diversion of possession offences is unlikely to have a significant impact on rehabilitation rates unless combined with a broader set of reforms that allow health and welfare agencies to better identify and provide support to problematic users. There is a case for adjusting oversight responsibilities in the UK in a similar way, to better align policy with responses on the ground.
* International alignment: There is a clear international shift towards a reassessment of approaches to drug control. We know that reform is best achieved incrementally. The UK is now in a strong position to reform its possession laws, better preparing the country for a possible future of supply-side regulation. Proactive engagement would allow the UK to feed in its well-known rule of law expertise in helping to shape multilateral decisions that could have a huge bearing on the nation’s own domestic landscape.
|Domaine :||Drogues illicites / Illicit drugs|
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