The Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice is held every 5 years as a means of bringing Member States, NGOs, academics and individual experts together to explore and make recommendations on key areas of crime prevention and criminal justice.

The themes and agenda are established by Member States and the Congress is organised by UNODC and the host country.  For 2010 the host country has been Brazil and the Congress was held from 12th – 19th April in Salvador.

Among the themes for discussion at the Congress were several which linked with the issues of drug use and drug trafficking.  With this in mind, the VNGOC decided it should propose an ancillary meeting on “Alternatives to Imprisonment for Drug Using Offenders”.  This was coorganised with the Vienna Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Ministry of Justice of Brazil and the International Drug Policy Consortium.

The programme of the ancillary meeting can be downloaded from here.

David Turner, Chair of the VNGOC made two presentations.  The first reviewed the evidence for the use of alternatives for drug using offenders (download here).  The second explored some of the models and structures in use in Europe and N. America (download here).  Alejandro Corda, from Intercambios, Argentina, and representing the International Drug Policy Consortium also presented two papers.  The first dealt with proposals in the Consortium Guide to Drug Policy reflecting the contents of the drug control conventions proposing alternative sanctions for drug using offenders (download here).  The second reported on the situation in Agentina (download here).  Pedro Abramovay from the Ministry of Justice, Brazil, reported on the arrangements in Brazil.  His presentation will be added as soon as possible.