Judiciary setting up diversion plan for drug scofflaws

A person with a drug addiction who commits a minor crime will now have another option to facing the criminal courts. That choice is rehabilitation.
The judiciary and the Instituto Costarricense Sobre Drogas have created a diversion program that treat addicts who come through the system with misdemeanors.

The intitiative, Programa de Tratamiento en Drogas Bajo Supervisión Judicial, was put into letter form and signed by Doris Arias Madrigal and Mauricio Boraschi Friday.

Ms. Arias is a judge and the project coordinator, and Boraschi is the country’s anti-drug czar.

Currently there is no niche where persons who are addicted to drugs can get help, and these persons have a special case and need special attention, said Ms. Arias.

She also stressed that the implementation of the court-supervised drug treatment falls within a restorative justice program that will be a more effective response to crime with respect for human dignity and the equality of persons.

Those eligible for the program will be profiled and the Protocolo de Actuaciones Interno, the health sector of the Instituto de Alcholismo y Fármaco Dependencia, and the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz will choose a final group for the pilot phase.

“The integration of the legal and health sectors will favor the treatment and approach to the imputed person, and gives collateral aid for effective reintegration that benefits victims and society by increasing satisfaction levels,” said Ms. Arias.

The attendees will be monitored, documented and given a schedule of activities to follow. After treatment they will be reintroduced into society, the officials said.

“This program offers alternatives for those people who commit minor offenses,” said Boraschi. “The system offers a chance at three points: treatment, face the criminal system differently and reintegration to society. The commitment to multiple sectors is vital.”

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