Protocol of Cooperation for the Referral of Young Offenders from Drug Law Enforcement Unit – Cyprus Police to Public and NGO Treatment Centres
This project is an effort to develop social and treatment policies and measures in the framework of the criminal justice system, in order to support drug addicted individuals in the course of their rehabilitation and social reintegration. The “Protocol of Cooperation” is operated in the framework of the criteria which have been set by the Cyprus Police (arrestees for a first time of using or possessing illicit substances, the seized quantity of drugs is such as to be solely intended for their own personal use, at the time of investigation or arrest, immediately before or immediately after, the persons have not committed any offence). The “Social Intervention Officers” of DLEU (specialized personnel - Police Officers with academic background in social sciences, with specialized education, appropriate training and expertise to address addiction problems of all forms) contact in a short time of period, motivate and refer the service users (arrested drug users) to the relevant Treatment Centre according to their age and their needs. Provided that the arrested person fulfils the above criteria and responds to a meeting, he/she shall be motivated and briefed orally by the “Police – Social Intervention Officer” about the Treatment Centres and the possibilities of mitigating the legal consequences that may arise as a result of the completion of a Treatment Programme provided by State and NGO Services. In case the arrested person responds, the DLEU sends the referral form in connection with the arrested person to the respective Treatment Centre. If the person stops attending the Treatment Centre, he/she has been accepted in, the DLEU is informed in writing. In the event of the DLEU receiving a completed Certification of Completion of a Treatment Programme from the Treatment Services within 2 years, the case shall be filed as “Otherwise disposed of” (case closed) provided that the respective General Attorney has granted his consent. In the opposite event, the case shall be brought before justice.
The bodies involved in the “Protocol of cooperation” are the Cyprus Police-Drug Law Enforcement Unit, Governmental and NGO Treatment Services and the Cyprus National Addictions Authority.
The project started on the 1st of December 2008 and is still running.