The COPOLAD programme brings together specialists from Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe to reflect on policies to deal with minor drug offences
The international community has been reflecting for years on how to address criminal and prison policies more effectively in a context where the saturation of prisons and the impacts of imprisonment on individuals and communities make it necessary to seek greater proportionality and the implementation of alternative penalties in the design of the punitive response. Almost 12 million people are in prison for drug offenses. Althought women in prison represent 8% in the Americas, the figure has doubled in the last 22 years, by 56.1%, while the overall prison population increased by 24.5%.
In this context, the European Union cooperation programme led by the FIIAPP on drug policies COPOLAD III, has organised a regional workshop in San José (Costa Rica) with representatives of the COMJIB, the judiciary and drug agencies from Costa Rica and various Latin American, Caribbean and European countries.
The workshop addressed the construction of a regional pact for a criminal policy on drugs based on proportionality and criminal alternatives in order to advance in the design of a more humanised penal and penitentiary policy. This initiative is carried out in the framework of the collaboration between COPOLAD and the Conference of Ministers of Justice of the Ibero-American States (COMJIB).
Women in prison represent 8% in the Americas, the figure has doubled in the last 22 years, by 56.1%, while the overall prison population increased by 24.5%.
The event included a National Workshop to promote a Protocol for women in conflict with drug offenses, related to Article 77 bis of the Penal Code (referring to women who enter penal centers as transporters of illegal substances). In addition, the Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the OAS, Women Deprived of Liberty in the Americas 2023, was presented.