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RECENT EVOLUTIONS OF QUASI-COERCED TREATMENT IN THE BELGIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM Thematic meeting on monitoring and evaluating national experience with.

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Presentation on theme: "RECENT EVOLUTIONS OF QUASI-COERCED TREATMENT IN THE BELGIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM Thematic meeting on monitoring and evaluating national experience with."— Presentation transcript:

1 RECENT EVOLUTIONS OF QUASI-COERCED TREATMENT IN THE BELGIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM Thematic meeting on monitoring and evaluating national experience with quasi coerced treatment Criminal Justice Platform, May 27, 2010 Karel Berteloot

2 Introduction Department for Criminal policy Philosophy Belgian drug users policy: document of 2001 and 2010 Public health issue Prevention > treatment > punishment Criminal reaction: alternative sanctions

3 1. General provisions Police > prosecutor > examining magistrate > court > execution General possibilities concerning drug related offenders on prosecutorial level: Dismiss of a case (possibly praetorian probation) Payment of a sum of money (“settlement”), only for small offences For small and medium offences: mediation Set up a judicial inquiry Bring to trial

4 2. Test Care (Proefzorg) Since 2005 – Ghent region prosecutorial power to dismiss a case praetorian probation: conditional dismissal without a legal framework Short or long test care track Users + public nuisance + small trade to finance own taking + minors

5 Evaluation: -Fills in a gap in the criminal justice system -Better cooperation between judicial authorities and treatment facilities by means of -Bridging functions -Clear reporting -Clear barriers -Partnership Lessons for other regions: -Dialogue -Uniform criminal policy -Case management -Funding

6 3. Narcotic Adviser (Conseiller stratégique drogue) Since 2005 – Liège region Similar to Ghent system: praetorian probation

7 Provisional evaluation: -Clear arrangements & definitions -Sufficient funding -Net widening -Complete guidance or support, not only treatment -Need for drug court

8 4. National implementation Three options for legal framework: - seperate regulation for drug users - adaptation of current mediation regulations - general provision on dissolution of charges at prosecutorial level Points of interest: - which criminal offences? - due process of law - net widening - general policy (justice – public health)

9 5. Drug treatment court (Drugbehandelingskamer) Since 2008 – Ghent region Ultimum remedium principle Postponement verdict Failed test care Failed mediation (if victim) Trade to support own drug abuse Drug related crime Minors

10 Provisional evaluation: -Added value towards Test Care -Close follow up -Difference with probation Recommendations: -Attention for general guidance and sufficient support -Networking -Sufficient capacity social service sector -Clear barriers -Maximise judicial pressure -Rehabilitation -Coordinator

11 6. Conclusions -Let the cobbler stick to his last -Cooperation & information -Funding -Due process of law

12 QUESTIONS? Karel Berteloot


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