Agenda

 

THEMATIC AGENDA

 

This agenda is being updated daily. Last updated: November 30, 2015

Click here for the detailed agenda in PDF

 

These sessions include debates, study visits and training.

 

The number of people incarcerated for drug-related offenses is one of the principal causes of prison overcrowding in the hemisphere. These individuals’ trials also congest the courts and other areas of the justice system. The exclusive use of the criminal justice system, the disproportionality of sentences, and incarceration as the only response to the problem may represent an inadequate and inefficient response to a complex, and growing, challenge faced by the majority of OAS Member States.

 

TUESDAY, December 1

   
  Opening Ceremony

 

Proportionality in sentencing
The 2013 Declaration of Antigua encourages OAS Member States to continue strengthening their efforts and policies to reduce prison overcrowding, promoting more access to justice for all, and considering the proportionality of the sentence and the harm to society.  It is ever more necessary to understand the mitigating and aggravating circumstances of criminal behavior to enable justice systems to offer different sentencing options according to the specificities of the crime.  The application of justice, the way policies are designed, and imperatives of existing legislation are all crucial considerations in this debate.

 

Alternatives and approaches for juvenile offenders
The lack of policies and specialized measures to administer justice in cases involving juvenile criminal offenders – including conflict prevention, restorative and transformative justice with a focus on social integration – can lead to young people having contact with the police and criminal justice system from an early age, incarceration as adolescents, and later, as adults.  The debate will center on the need for pedagogical and differentiated responses necessary for this population.

 

Programs and interventions under judicial supervision
This session will cover some existing programs and interventions during criminal proceedings, including suspension of the trial and diversion, as well as different sentencing options or forms of early release.  Currently, there exist different strategies and actions which, using judicial supervision, provide additional responses to prison for certain drug-related offenses (mainly those involving offenders with substance use disorders).

 

Social integration for drug-related offenders
Social integration within the context of drug related offenders and their relationship with the criminal justice system refers to an individual’s active participation in social institutions such as the labor force, families, communities, and schools.  Social integration programs provide individuals with health, education, labor, and other social services in order to prevent them from becoming involved in criminal behavior, to reverse/reduce participation in criminal behavior, or to reduce the likelihood of recidivism among individuals already in the criminal justice system.

 

WEDNESDAY, December 2

   
 

Visit to the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. Drug Treatment Court

 

Drug Treatment Courts for adults and juveniles
Brief presentation of the model as an introduction.

 

Presentations by each participating Member State
Presentation of all OAS Member States currently implementing this model (Argentina, Chile, Panama, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, the United States, and Canada).  This will be an opportunity to present achievements; exchange experiences or difficulties faced, and share projections for the medium and long terms. Countries who are not currently implementing the model are invited to raise questions and form strategic partnerships as part of the dialogue.

 

THURSDAY, December 3

   

 

Clemency and Pardons. A growing debate. Pros and Cons.
Post-sentencing alternatives refer to mechanisms that work to substitute or reduce incarceration for drug-related offenses and are applied after an offender has already been sentenced.  An example is executive clemency, which may take several forms, including pardon, commutation of sentence, remission of fine or restitution, or reprieve. While the specificities of these procedures vary according to the constitutions of each country, governments are given the ability to pardon or commute sentences.

 

The Community Court Model
Community courts are a community based model in which the justice system works closely with local actors to solve local problems.  To do this, they convene neighborhood associations, businesses, churches, and others in an effort to strengthen the community’s confidence in the justice system, aligning it with the needs and realities of the community. Various evaluations have found that this model is capable of reducing crime, as well as the negative consequences of incarceration.  This session will focus on the model, its characteristics, and how it works.

 

Models for social integration of incarcerated individuals
This session will include presentations of the challenges faced by incarcerated individuals, and some models which are successfully working with this population.  Social reintegration models, such as re-entry courts or monitoring schemes for inmates coming to the end of their sentences will also be presented.

 

Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Training
This training session is aimed at countries interested in exploring or expanding the DTC model to the Juvenile Population. This session is open to all participating delegates.


updated on 11/30/2015 9:09:29 PM