Drug court a ‘win-win’ solution

An experienced American prosecutor has applauded Barbados’ decision to introduce a Drug Treatment Court.

David Wallace, who has almost 30 years of experience in criminal prosecution and criminal law said the introduction of the new court expected to soon start operation in Barbados, would be one of the most effective process in changing behaviours and stopping recidivism.

He said the courts were established internationally with the mandate to help change those who went against the law under the influence of drugs or alcohol, into law-abiding citizens, through appropriate rehabilitation as ordered by the court.

“I am thrilled the drug courts are coming here and I think that it is one of the best things that can happen almost anywhere. There is a problem in the world because of drugs, not just here but anywhere. We have to work to make sure that individuals that are addicted change their ways and this is the most effective way to do it,” he said.

Wallace was speaking to the media this morning after the closing ceremony of a drug awareness exhibition at the Bridgetown Public Library.

He said that in the court, while being held accountable, an individual was given the support that would change their lifestyle.

“It is a very encompassing approach that really would change lives. It’s really a win win win situation for everybody. The person going to court wins because they get a clean life, the courts win because you are not having people coming back any more to the court system; and the community wins because they have that person back in their community helping out.”

Wallace also took time out to tell the students present at the ceremony that the consumption of alcohol was dangerous especially as a child matured because their body organs were in the process of developing and they also stood a high chance of developing an addiction problem at an early age.

“The brain is developing. The brain is still growing and well until their early 20’s. If they start drinking during that time that stops their development and actually encourages more use of alcohol because the brain change from the use of alcohol and it can actually cause damages.

“Don’t try it. Don’t start with the use of alcohol. You are growing up, just live a healthy life,” said Wallace.

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