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Drug addiction intervention programme in police courts in Madrid and Asturias

Quality level: 1

Initial situation

By 1989, a vast majority of drug users were committing offences to support their habit. When considering cooperation agreements between the various authorities, the judiciary was vested with an instrument - in the form of a group of professionals specializing in drug addiction - to evaluate addiction as an attenuating circumstance in criminal liability. The programme aims to contribute to solve the problems posed in cases of drug users who commit offences as a result and in the context of such use, balancing the requirements of the legislation on the one hand and the need to mainstream the community of drug users on the other. It attempts to steer addicts towards treatment programmes, counsel magistrates on the social resources available and families about the procedures to be followed and types of treatment that can be provided.

Basic assumptions/theory

Attract persons under arrest to treatment programmes. The intention is to heighten the awareness, in criminal law, of the social and psychological vision of the problems afflicting drug usign offenders. Measures are taken at 2 levels to: Confirm the subject's drug addiction. Evaluate subjects' volitive capacity, psychological and intellectual aptitudes and personality traits. Determine the degree of drug addiction. Provide a prognosis of the possible evolution of the addiction. Evaluate the relevance and type of treatment. Evaluate subjects' ability to mainstream into society and conquer their addiction. 1.- Drug offenders' social-personal background: This type of counselling consists in the study and analysis of user, family and environmental circumstances and characteristics in connection with drug abuse. This process is designed to obtain a detailed understanding of the problem on which to base specific action strategies of both a legal and a therapeutic nature. 2. Social resources available: Detailed information on the different treatment programmes: a) Objectives pursued. b) Admission and expulsion criteria. c) Average programme duration and differences between: - Abstinence-oriented programmes, - Harm reduction programmes (methadone maintenance, LAAM...), - Out-patient centres. - In-patient centres - Mobile units. - Contact centres and so forth. Geared to providing an overview of the drug addict's bio-psychosocial circumstances to place them on the record during any phase of judicial proceedings underway and clarifying aspects of the Services' intervention. INFORMATION on the legal situation of patients in support programmes and strategies to be followed. Follow-up of user progress in social resources, drafting periodic reports to be forwarded to the judge or court for inclusion in the case records.

The PDF contains the full intervention description including additional contact information.

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The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is the reference point on drugs and drug addiction information in Europe. Inaugurated in Lisbon in 1995, it is one of the EU's decentralised agencies. Read more >>

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Page last updated: Friday, 20 January 2012