Better responses to drug harm

Date: 
Thursday, 19 May, 2016

Last Monday, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies hosted an event exploring Portugal's experience of decriminalising the possession of drugs for personal use and adopting a health-led approach to managing drug harms.

With contributions from an expert panel, including the head of Portugal's drug strategy, and a highly informed audience, we explored the question of what the UK could learn from the Portuguese experience.

Our esteemed panel were:

  • João Castel-Branco Goulão, head of the General-Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies, Portugal
  • Mike Barton, Chief Constable for Durham Constabulary
  • Niamh Eastwood, Executive Director, Release
  • Kenny MacAskill, former Member of the Scottish Parliament and Justice Minister
  • Baroness Molly Meacher, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform

This was the final event in the Centre’s Alternatives to Custody in Europe project.

Download João's, Mike's and Niamh's slides

Read the coverage in Ismoke magazine


Watch the speakers' presentations

Please note that we had some difficulties ensuring good sound quality. The audio suffers from some electronic interference.

Helen Mills, Research Associate at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies

João Goulão, Head of the General-Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies In Portugal

Kenny MacAskill, Former Cabinet Secretary for Justice in the Scottish government

Mike Barton, Chief Constable for Durham

Niamh Eastwood, Executive Director for Release

Baroness Meacher, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform


Follow tweeting from the event on Storify