Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD)

Barbados Launches Drug Treatment Court (DTC), February 11, 2014


Barbados Launches Drug Treatment Court (DTC) Pilot Projects with OAS Support

Bridgetown, February 11, 2014

On February 11, Barbados formally inaugurated the country's first pilot drug treatment court as an alternative to incarceration for drug dependent offenders, in the city of Bridgetown. The launching of this court represents the culmination of a period of three years of preparatory work supported by the Organization of American States (OAS) through the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), with funding from the Government of Canada.


Among the authorities participating in the official launch were the Honourable Sir Marston Gibson, K.A., Chief Justice of Barbados; the Honourable Adriel Brathwaite, Q.C., M.P., Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs; Ambassador Paul Simons, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS); His Excellency Mr. Richard Hanley, High Commissioner of Canada to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean; the Honourable Justice Randall Worrell, Judge of the High Court and Chairman of the Drug Treatment Court Steering Committee; and the Honourable Right Reverend Monsignor Vincent Harcourt , Chairman of the Barbados Christian Council.

The inauguration comes as a result of an intensive work in Barbados supported by the cooperation with the Executive Secretariat of CICAD (ES-CICAD) through a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the OAS and Barbados in 2013. The CICAD Executive Secretariat, in cooperation with the Judiciary and the National Drug Commission of Barbados, has assisted the government of Barbados in adapting the DTC approach to national legislation, training the DTC team, and defining its feasibility.

A DTC is an innovative approach to dealing with non-violent criminal offenses committed by drug-dependent offenders, conditionally directing the accused to treatment instead of jail time with the goal of managing relapses into drug addiction, reducing the risk of repeat offenses, lowering prison population, and decreasing government expenditure on incarceration.

Barbados is now the seventh country to launch a DTC pilot project under the OAS's Drug Treatment Courts in the Americas program since it started in 2010. Trinidad and Tobago launched a pilot program in San Fernando in September 2012, Costa Rica launched two pilot programs in February of 2013, followed by Jamaica with its third DTC, as well as Argentina (Salta) with its first DTC in 2013. Panama just launched its first DTC in the province of Cocle in February 2014, only a few days earlier than Barbados. Peru and Colombia are also exploring this model, together with other countries in the region. This is a model that has already proved to be successful in countries such Canada, the US, Chile, and Jamaica.

Place: Attorney's Lounge, Supreme Court Complex, Bridgetown, Barbados
Date: Tuesday 11th February 2014
Time: 9:30 a.m.

For additional information contact Antonio Lomba or go to DTCA site

updated on 2/11/2014 4:22:19 PM