Drug Treatment Court receives new vehicle, computer equipment

The Ministry of Legal Affairs in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Monday handed over a new vehicle and computer equipment to the Drug Treatment Court of Guyana under the Support for the Criminal Justice System Programme.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, said this partnership represents the government’s commitment to enhancing Guyana’s justice system.

“The core objective of this programme conceptually was to reduce our prison population. We have managed to stretch the elasticity of that core objective to embrace related directly and tangentially objectives that we consider important for the smooth administration of criminal justice,” the Attorney General said.

He added that as the government continues to modernise the country’s legislation, the issues plaguing the criminal justice system remain a priority and will see continued mitigation efforts.

The drug treatment court integrates drug treatment and rehabilitation services in the criminal justice system and seeks to address the needs of each participant.

Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards highlighted that the drug treatment court presents several benefits, including the promotion of public safety and well-being, the treatment and support of eligible offenders with substance use disorders, as well as a reduction in the costs of imprisonment, recidivism and substance abuse.

She said the vehicle and other equipment will assist in the fight against drug misuse, better-enabling persons to attend court and receive treatment and the necessary support to help them become productive society members.

“Today, we are grateful for the intervention of the Attorney General’s Chambers and the IDB in having such important resources at our disposal to continue the fight against drugs and to continue the treatment of our citizens in Guyana. This is a tangible way in which we can continue to realise our goals,” she said.

These items are the first components of the effort to reduce the use of pre-trial detention, which is the process of detaining a person until their trial, after they have been arrested and charged with an offence.

The five-seater 4×4 vehicle will transport participants to appointments, clinical counselling, and court appearances, while the computer equipment will further improve administrative processes within the court. Financing is also provided for hygienic and drug-testing supplies.

The Support for the Criminal Justice System (SCJS) Programme is aimed at addressing the challenge of overcrowding conditions.