CICAD: Institutional Strengthening


CICAD: Institutional Strengthening


CICAD: Institutional Strengthening


CICAD: Institutional Strengthening


CICAD: Institutional Strengthening


CICAD: Institutional Strengthening


CICAD: Institutional Strengthening


CICAD: Institutional Strengthening

Barbados Graduation Jan 27, 2016



An alternative to incarceration for drug dependent offenders

The Barbados Drug Treatment Court (DTC) held a graduation ceremony for its first cohort of participants on Wednesday 27th January, 2016 at the Supreme Court of Barbados. Eleven DTC participants ranging in age from 19 to 37 received Certificates of Completion. The presentation of these certificates indicates that these individuals have successfully completed the Court’s program and now do not have a criminal record for the offence that brought them into the DTC.

The graduation ceremony was preceded by two days of intensive training for officials at the Supreme Court.  The training deliberately targeted a wide cross-section of the national community including judges, magistrates, attorneys, treatment providers, officials from the National Council on Substance Abuse, the Immigration Department, the Psychiatric Hospital and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The facilitators for the training were the Honourable Justice Orlando Prescott and Ms. Clarissa Linares, Program Coordinator, both from the Miami-Dade Juvenile Drug Treatment Court, United States of America, and Magistrate Andrew Stroude and Ms. Esther Best, Manager, from the National Drug Council of Trinidad and Tobago. The training sessions were well-attended and interactive.

In March 2013, Barbados signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the OAS to support the implementation of the Drug Treatment Court model. The graduation of the eleven clients of the Court represents three years of consistent work.

The graduation ceremony received speeches from Justice Pamela Beckles – who before her elevation had been the presiding magistrate of the Drug Treatment Court – Justice Randall Worrell, Chair of the Steering Committee, Justice Orlando Prescott, Mr. Francis McBarnette, OAS Country Representative and the Honourable Adriel Brathwaite, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs. The feature address was delivered by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson.

A testimonial on how the program had changed his life was given by one client while another treated the audience of over a hundred people to a song. All speakers encouraged the clients to seize the opportunity to reclaim their lives and to become again productive member of society. An appeal was also made to the national community to support these young people in their endeavors.

Mr. Drew Blakeney, Director of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) at the Embassy of the United States of America to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean handed over a donation of computer hardware and software, multimedia equipment and urine testing kits to the National Council on Substance Abuse which will strengthen their ability to engage in work in demand reduction. Testing equipment will also be presented by the United States to the Forensic Science Centre.

Barbados is the third Caribbean member state of the OAS to establish a Drug Treatment Court. Similar Courts have been established in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. Belize and the Bahamas are currently exploring this model. An independent monitoring and evaluation study will be performed on the pilot phase of the Barbados Drug Treatment Court.

Supreme Court of Barbados,
27 January, 2016

About the DTC Program

The Drug Treatment Court (DTC) model for drug-dependent offenders involves diverting drug-dependent offenders from prison and jail into treatment and rehabilitation, through a process directed by a judge.  By increasing direct supervision of offenders, coordinating public resources, and expediting case processing, DTCs can help promote the rehabilitation and social reintegration of the individual, and contribute to a reduction in recidivism among drug-dependent offenders. DTCs do this by addressing the causes of crime and aiming to break the cycle of criminal behavior, alcohol and drug dependence, and imprisonment.

DTCs were created as an alternative to incarceration, combining treatment with intensive judicial oversight of the treatment process. Judicial oversight typically involves ongoing status hearings before a DTC judge, individualized interaction between the judge and participant (drug-dependent offender), interim sanctions and incentives to motivate compliance, drug testing, community supervision, legal incentives for graduating, and, in some cases, incarceration for unsuccessful termination. The intended beneficiaries of the DTC model are drug-dependent defendants who would otherwise be handled in the regular criminal justice system and, in some cases, would face imprisonment for criminal offenses. For more information about the OAS DTC program of the Americas please visit: CICAD / OAS DTS Program

updated on 2/11/2016 1:30:23 PM