Region’s judges to do high level training for drug treatment courts

The region’s judges are expected to attend a series of high-level training conferences towards  establishing and consolidating drug treatment courts in the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Community Secretariat along with International Development Partners will be helping to establish and strengthen Drug Treatment Courts (DTCs) in the Caribbean region, through training and other capacity building initiatives primarily designed for the region’s judiciary system, the CARICOM Secretariat at Turkeyen said in a press release.

Meanwhile, the first three-day high-level training conference is scheduled  for Montego Bay, Jamaica starting Wednesday  and will include judges, prosecutors, defence attorneys, treatment providers, and police officers from four parishes in the country.

They will be trained by experienced members of DTCs from Canada, to lead future Drug Treatment Court teams within the Caribbean.

Two Drug Treatment Court teams from Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago will also participate in this event, the release said.

This training intervention is titled ‘Establishing and Consolidating Drug Treat-ment Courts in the Caribbean: A Team Effort’.

It is organized under the umbrella of the recently-launched Caribbean Drug Treatment Court (DTC) project, an initiative coordinated by the Organization of the American States (OAS), through the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commis-sion (CICAD) of the Secre-tariat for Multidimensional Security and is funded by the Government of Canada.

It also has the backing of the European Union, through the 9th European Develop-ment Fund, the Government of Jamaica through the Minis-tries of Justice and Health; the Canadian Association of Drug Treatment Courts (CADTC) and the International Associa-tion of Drug Treatment Courts (IADTC).

According to the release, there will be an opening ceremony on Wednesday afternoon in Montego Bay involving a slate of high-profile speakers including Dorothy Lightbourne, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Jamaica; Zaila McCalla, OJ, Chief Justice of Jamaica; Ambassador James F. Mack, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), Secretariat for Multidimensional Security of the Organization of the American States (OAS); Myrna Bernard, Officer in Charge of the Human and Social Development Direc-torate at the CARICOM Secretariat,  Celia Champag-nie, Regional Peace and Secu-rity Officer at the Canadian High Commission, Jamaica and Dr. Earl Wright, Chair-man of the National Council of Drug Abuse, Jamaica.

This will be followed by a plenary, including three keynote speakers who will address the importance of Drug Treatment Courts in the Caribbean, the release added.