European observatory on alternatives to imprisonment

Centre welcomes call for drug law rethink

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has welcomed calls by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) for ‘the personal possession and the use of all illegal drugs to be decriminalised’, and for a new strategy to be developed to deal with drug harms modelled on the Portuguese harm reduction approach.

Helen Mills, Research Associate at the Centre, who chaired our recent event on Portugal’s health-based approach to drug-taking, said:

Better responses to drug harm

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:

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