Trinidad and Tobago partners with Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission for two-year pilot project

COLLABORATION: Shante Moore, charge d’affairs at the US Embassy in Port of Spain, Ministers Donna Cox and Fitzgerald Hinds and chief probation officer Sintra Maharaj at the launch of the case care management pilot project on Wednesday. – SUREASH CHOLAI

Trinidad and Tobago is the first country in the Caribbean to partner with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) to receive training and pilot the case care management project.

The project was launched on Wednesday at the Ministry of National Security’s Probation Services Division offices on Henry Street, Port of Spain.

The 24-month trial is expected to help the country strengthen its existing social outreach and integration programmes to provide specialised training on treatment alternatives for individuals with substance abuse disorders.

The data generated from this research will help other countries revamp their drug abuse rehabilitation programmes.

Adam Mamm, of CICAD executive secretariat, said the project pays particular attention to a complete monitoring and evaluation system “to provide an all-embracing structure of care for persons with substance abuse disorders.”

He said it will also provide the necessary intervention to facilitate “the most positive outcomes for participating, drug-related offender in the areas of reduced substance abuse, increased positive functioning in their lives.”

Namm said the aim was to reduce overcrowding in the jails and provide stable opportunities to help those affected by substance abuse disorders reintegrate into society.

He said TT was chosen because its objectives and approach to drug abuse are in line with the goals of the CICAD’s project.

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds said the project was a continuation of the existing partnership between the Government and the US, particularly in the areas of security and drug control.

“Our main focus at the ministry would naturally be crime reduction and reducing the rate of re-offending and ultimately reducing the prison population. These are being pursued relentlessly using the two-pronged approach of a very robust and responsive legislative mechanism such as this case care management.”

Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox said her ministry was happy to lend support through the use of its rehabilitation and empowerment center at Piparo.

She said existing programmes and strategies under the ministry can also support the operations of the case care management model.

“The success of this initiative requires a collaborative approach…The Piparo centre delivers continued social and spiritual support for clients and their families, both during and after the usual treatment period of nine months while simultaneously providing a safe physical environment for residents in treatment.”

Commissioner of Prisons Dennis Pulchan was also present on the Zoom virtual platform at the event.