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Policing & criminal justice

DrugScope campaigns for high quality, evidence-based interventions for offenders with drug and alcohol problems, including those with a ‘dual diagnosis’. We supported the development of community sentences (such as the Drug Rehabilitation Requirement) as an alternative to prison that can both challenge and support offenders to engage with treatment services. We have expressed concern about the impact of prison numbers on treatment delivery in prisons, and the lack of ‘through the gate’ support, which has also contributed to high levels of overdose related death among recently released prisoners.

We do not campaign for a specific agenda on drug law reform, although we have consistently question the value of criminal justice approaches to lower level drug offences, particularly possession, and believe that police enforcement efforts should concentrate primarily on those drug markets and forms of drug-related crime that cause the most damage to communities.

Recent DrugScope activity

Safer Future Communities (SFC). DrugScope is a partner in the Safer Future Communities initiative which is being led by Clinks with funding from the Home Office to support voluntary and community sector organisations to prepare for and work with elected Police and Crime Commissioners.

Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA). DrugScope is a member of the CJA, a coalition of over 60 organisations that is committed to improving the criminal justice system, and advise and support the CJA on drug and alcohol issues.

Domestic Violence Forum. Through the London Drug and Alcohol Network, DrugScope has been delivering a four year project to identify and support good practice in working with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence with drug and alcohol problems, funded by London Councils.

DrugScope’s Chief Executive, Martin Barnes, is a member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and of the Government’s Criminal Justice Council. DrugScope is also represented on the Association of Chief Police Offiers (ACPO) Drug Committee and is a member of the independent Bradley Report Group, which is campaigning to take forward the proposals of Lord Bradley’s 2009 report on diversion of offenders with mental health problems and learning difficulties from prison.

DrugScope resources

Reports and briefings

Briefing on the Offender Rehabilitation Bill for House of Commons second reading (PDF) - This briefing focuses on the introduction of extended periods of post-prison supervision for those sentenced to up to two years in custody, and the particular impact of this on those with drug and/or alcohol problems; the extension of the drug testing requirement for those on licence/subject to the new supervision period from Class A to Class A and Class B drugs; and the introduction of a new ‘drug appointment requirement’ for those on licence/subject to the new supervision period.

Government response to ‘Transforming rehabilitation’ and Offender Rehabilitation Bill: Key points (PDF) - This summary provides an overview of the key points contained in the Government’s response to the ‘Transforming rehabilitation’ consultation and the Offender Rehabilitation Bill, including the proposed mandatory 12-month supervision period for those released from prison sentences of up to two years, and plans for a ‘drug appointment requirement’ for those on licence or under supervision in the community

Police and Crime Commissioners (PDF) – a briefing for the drug and alcohol sector (2012). This DrugScope briefing for the Safer Future Communities initiative aims to provide a short and accessible overview of the PCC reforms and their implications for the drug and alcohol sector.

Using women (PDF) – report on women with substance misuse problems in prisons (2005). This DrugScope report was part of the two year project funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, it contributed to a growing awareness of issues for women prisoners and has influenced policy.

Consultation responses

Department of Transport consultation on drug driving regulations 2013 (PDF)

DrugScope response to Home Office consultation on police powers of stop and search 2013 (PDF)

DrugScope response to the Justice Committee inquiry into crime reduction policies 2013 (PDF)

DrugScope response to Transforming Rehabilitation: A revolution in the way we manage offenders 2013 (PDF)

DrugScope/LDAN’s response to the MOPAC Police and Crime Plan 2013-17 consultation draft 2013 (PDF)

DrugScope response to the Sentencing Council consultation on drug offences (2011) (PDF)

DrugScope response to the Ministry of Justice consultation on Breaking the cycle – Effective punishment, rehabilitation and sentencing of offenders (2010) (PDF)

DrugScope response to the Bradley Review on diversion of offenders with mental health problems and learning difficulties (2009) (PDF)

DrugScope response to Home Office consultaiton on tackling violence against women and girls(2009) (PDF)