Pompidou Group - Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs

The Criminal Justice Platform
The platform’s main objective is to improve criminal justice responses to the drug situation. It promotes the harmonisation of control measures and instruments, the analysis of new trends and functioning working methods as well as the establishment of evaluation procedures.

In line with the Pompidou Group’s multi-disciplinary approach, the platform seeks to promote changes in the policies and practices concerning the management of drug using offenders in prisons as well as alternative approaches to imprisonment.
Themes dealt with by the platform
- Quasi-coerced treatment of drug-dependent offenders, including drug treatment courts, specialised chambers and specialised magistrates as well as diversion programmes in general and alternative measures to imprisonment;
- Recidivism.
- Prevention of drug precursors’ diversion through better coordination among national regulatory agencies and law enforcement agencies as well as examination of modalities to get evidence and to sentence precursor trafficking.
Recent work
Between 2007 and 2010, the Criminal Justice platform identified the subject of “recidivism” as a matter of prime concern. After examination of the national legislation with regard to re-offending and after an exchange of views on existing research in the field, the platform identified a need for data collection and evidence on re-offending as an argument against imprisonment. The platform explores the links between crime and drug-use and compares data on “acquisitive” crime, i.e. all crimes feeding the drug habit.

Quasi-coerced treatment and other alternatives to imprisonment
In this area, previous research was explored and compared to national data and evidence. The rationale for quasi-coerced treatment lies in the rising of the prison populations of which a large proportion is drug-related and in the relative ineffectiveness of other sanctions in deterring drug use and related crime.
Furthermore alternatives to imprisonment are more cost-effective and have fewer adverse effects. According to the evidence collected, “coerced” treatment can be effective in reducing substance use, risk and offending behaviours, and improving social integration. It can be as effective as voluntary treatment, if received in the same treatment services. In this context, the platform has developed guidelines on good practice and will devise an awareness raising activity to be determined with the help of national criminal justice practitioners.

Drug addiction in prisons
The Platform on Criminal Justice cooperates with the World Health Organisation (HIPP - Health in Prison Project). Within the framework of this cooperation, the two bodies work together on issues like drugs, harm reduction and prisons and have drawn up a European Prison Health Guide.

The platform organised in March 2009 a conference on “backtracking investigation, evidence collection, sanction and prevention of drug precursors diversion”. The target audience of the conference included magistrates, prosecutors and judges, but also representative from the chemical industry and law enforcement. A second Ad Hoc Conference on the Prevention of Drug Precursors' Diversion was held in Strasbourg on 30 September - 1 October 2010. 

suite More information
Publications & Documents
Quasi-coerced treatment of adult drug-dependent offenders
Tim McSweeney
suite Guidelines on QCT
suite Questionnaire
suite Findings of a survey conducted in Pompidou Group member States

Recidivism in the Republic of Ireland
Johnny Connolly, October 2008
suite Read the document

International Drug court developments
Models and effectiveness, by Prof. Paul MOYLE, September 2003
Reference of the document : P-PG/Drug Courts (2003) 3

Prisons, Drugs and Society
Proceedings, Seminar, Bern (Switzerland), September 2001
ISBN : 92-871-5090-7 Available of the Council of Europe publications Website's

Prisons, Drugs and Society
A Consensus Statement on Principles, Policies and Practices
Published by WHO (Regional Office for Europe) in partnership with the Pompidou Group, September 2002

9th meeting of the expert forum on criminal justice
2-3 October 2008, Dubrovnik, Cavtat, (Croatia)
suite Report

10th meeting of the expert forum on criminal justice
10-11 September 2009, Strasbourg (France)
Presentations (original language only)
suite Drug Legislation in Portugal, by Lucia Dias
suite Fred goes Net, by Maria Peglitsi
suite Monitoring Recidivism, by Bouke Wartna
suite Ethical Aspects of QCT, by René Padieu

11th meeting of the expert forum on criminal justice
29 May 2010, Strasbourg (France)
Presentations (original language only)
suite Recent evolutions with quasi-coerced treatment in the Belgian criminal justice system, by Karel Berteloot
suite Stages de sensibilisation en France, by Sylvie Vella
suite Injonction thérapeutique en France, by Fabienne Delbauffe
suite The Dublin drug court 10 years on, by Johnny Connolly
suite Initiation and implementation of the Norwegian edition of the Drug Court, by Lars Meling
suite Are UK interventions targeting drug-dependant offenders evidence based ? by Tim McSweeney
suite Breaking the link: the role of drug treatment in tackling crime in the UK, by Rosanna O'Connor

Written contributions (original language only)
suite Recent evolutions with quasi-coerced treatment in the Belgian criminal justice system, by Karel Berteloot
Quasi-coerced treatment in Cyprus, by Cyprus Antidrug Council
suite Alternative measures to imprisonment and quasi-coerced treatment in Portugal - a new paradigm, by João Luís Moraes Rocha
suite Rather Treat than Punish - the Portuguese Decriminalisation, Model by Fátima Trigueiros, Paula Vitória and Lúcia Dias
suite Quasi-Coerced Treatment and Treatment of Drug Abuse in Portugal, by Domingo Duran and Miguel Vasconcelos
suite Quasi-Coerced Treatment Outcomes in Portugal, attachment to Portuguese contributions

suite All documents of the platform

suite All publications of the Pompidou Group