HomeNewsBriefArgentina to Expand Drug Treatment Program for Minor Crimes Nationwide
BRIEF

Argentina to Expand Drug Treatment Program for Minor Crimes Nationwide

ARGENTINA / 29 MAY 2017 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Argentina's national government is scaling up a pilot project that provides treatment instead of incarceration for drug addicts accused of minor crimes, an initiative that could contribute to lower rates of recidivism and prison overcrowding. 

Argentina's Ministry of Justice and Human Rights is preparing to implement nationwide what are known as Drug Treatment Tribunals (Tribunales de Tratamiento de Drogas - TTD), reported La Nación. The authorities hope this plan will reduce the rate of recidivism in Argentina, which is reportedly close to 50 percent. 

The move expands the TTD model, which was first implemented as a pilot program in the northwestern province of Salta in October 2013. Under the program, drug addicts accused of minor or non-violent crimes can request that their trial be suspended in order to undergo treatment. If the rehabilitation program is considered successful, the criminal activity is expunged from the suspect's record. 

Officials say the pilot programs in Salta have led to decreases in crime and recidivism rates.

TTD trainings, organized by the Ministry of Justice and the Secretariat for Integrative Drug Policies (Secretaría de Políticas Integrales sobre Drogas - SEDRONAR), are expected to take place during the coming weeks in several parts of the country, according to La Nación.

InSight Crime Analysis

The expansion of the TTD program could have a significant impact on how justice is administered in Argentina. According to data from the Argentine non-governmental organization Intercambios, drug convictions rose by over 100 percent between 2002 and 2013, and are now the third most common offense among prisoners after theft and homicide. The increase is especially notable in the province of Buenos Aires, where the number of drug offenders serving prison time rose from eight in 2002 to 2,432 in 2013. 

Drug tribunals could also reduce overcrowding in Argentina's prisons. With an occupancy rate of 103 percent, the country's jails are operating at slightly above maximum capacity. This figure is actually much lower than the overcrowding rates in many other Latin American countries, where prison populations routinely far exceed the official limit. But as with drug offenses, the problem in Argentina is especially acute in Buenos Aires; the province's prisons have just 28,000 beds for over 35,000 inmates

SEE ALSO: InDepth Coverage of Prisons

While the prospect of more drug tribunals may appear promising, implementation could prove difficult. Some officials say the general population is likely to be resistant to these types of legal changes. 

"The great political difficulty is how we translate this technical design to reality, to communicate [with] the citizenry, who it would appear is asking for something else," said Santiago Otamendi, a high-ranking judicial official, during a recent seminar on TTDs. "It is difficult to talk about alternatives to incarceration at the moment."

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 18 SEP 2018

Changing dynamics in the criminal world, new government control strategies and fast technological advances are forcing organized crime groups to…

ARGENTINA / 20 SEP 2016

A new report sheds light on the phenomenon of human trafficking involving Chinese citizens in Argentina, highlighting some of the…

COCA / 3 JUL 2015

Once again, there are significant discrepancies between how much coca the White House estimates is grown in Colombia, versus…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…