UNODC and Indonesia’s National Narcotics Board Promote Access to Treatment and Rehabilitation for People who Use Drug
In many countries, imprisonment is the most common form of punishment applied for criminal justice offenders.
However, the significant growth of prison population has led to overcrowding which in turn makes prisons prone to violence and abuse as well as creating a financial burden for governments.
This challenge is also faced by Indonesia, which currently houses approximately 207,000 inmates in 485 prisons. These numbers constitute nearly one percent of the total population of the country. From the overall prison population, 83,000 inmates (40 percent) are imprisoned for drug-related offences. Most of them are drug users who were convicted for drug possession and have little access to rehabilitation as prisons are not equipped with adequate treatment and rehabilitation programmes.
Despite the challenges, the participants agreed on the need for continued efforts to strengthen and harmonize the criminal justice system’s responses for people who use drugs and the necessity for clearer guidance on responsibilities and coordination among law enforcement agencies for inmates placed in rehabilitation centres. The participants also highlighted the need for adequate infrastructure development for rehabilitation centres at the sub-national level.
The recommendations from all five seminars are being compiled by UNODC and will be used to further engage with national and international counterparts as part of UNODC and BNN’s partnership.
The Government of Indonesia recognizes that the imprisonment of people who use drugs and those with drug addiction does not provide an effective means to reduce demand and prevent relapse after release. In an effort to strenghten responses by the criminal justice system and promote access to treatment for people who use drugs and come into contact with law enforcement, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in collaboration with the National Narcotics Board (BNN), conducted a series of seminars in five cities, Bali, Surabaya, Makassar, Medan and Jakarta, across Indonesia. As many as 216 representatives from the local National Narcotics Boards, prosecutors and courts actively participated in the seminars. They examined the provisions outlined in the Inter-ministerial regulation on handling people who use drugs into rehabilitation, and discussed challenges faced by local criminal justice practitioners to implement the regulation. The seminars also provided guidance on how the relevant agencies can effectively implement the provision of the regulation.
Mr. Darmawel Aswar, Director of Legal Affairs of the National Narcotics Board delivering a presentation on Indonesia’s policy on access to treatment for people who use drugs who comes into context with the criminal justice system.