Newsbrief: Pakistani Prison Officials Call for Different Treatment of Drug Offenders 9/12/03

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Corrections officials in Pakistan's populous Sindh province (capital: Karachi) are calling on the government of ex-dictator, now president Musharraf to treat drug addicts as sick people, not criminals, the Karachi newspaper Dawn reported. Drug offenders should be "excluded from the purview of criminal law" or released on parole, Sindh corrections officials concluded in a report issued last week.

According to the report from the Sindh Inspectorate of Prisons, nearly 2,000 drug users are behind bars in the province. Under a 1979 law, the Hudood Ordinance, drug use is a crime punishable by imprisonment. Some addicts are serving time for other criminal offenses, the report noted.

Treating drug addicts as criminals violates international charters, the report's authors argued. And imprisoning drug users creates problems for prison administration as well, they wrote. Drug addicts seeking drugs corrupt prison guards and imprisoned addicts strain limited prison medical facilities. Prison administrations also take the blame when addicts die in prison, the report lamented.

The Sindh corrections report recommended the provincial government set up detention and rehabilitation centers specifically for drug users, complete with social welfare workers, physicians, addiction specialists, and the necessary medicines. In the meantime, the report suggested, imprisoned drug addicts should be released on some form of parole.

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Issue #302, 9/12/03 Oops! -- "Killer Ecstasy" Study Retracted, NIDA Credibility on the Line, RAVE Act Still Law | Marijuana as Budget Saver? Study Looks at Implications of Legalization in Massachusetts | Current Action Alerts: Medical Marijuana, Plan Colombia, HEA, Ashcroft's Attack on Judicial Discretion | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | Newsbrief: Human Rights Watch Calls California's Anti-Syringe Laws a Violation of Human Rights, Details Police Harassment of Exchanges | Arianna Huffington Speaks at UC Berkeley SSDP-Volunteer-Organized Event | Newsbrief: Tommy Chong Sentenced to Nine Months on Bong Charges | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: West Africa Drug War -- Business As Usual, Except for the Lizards | Newsbrief: Canadian Cities Federation Stays Firm in Support of Cannabis Decrim | Newsbrief: New Mexico Church Wins Ruling in Ayahuasca Case | Newsbrief: Pakistani Prison Officials Call for Different Treatment of Drug Offenders | Newsbrief: Dutch Government Seeks to Ban Cops from Enjoying Coffee Shops | Newsbrief: Connecticut Democrats to Propose Sentencing Reforms | The Reformer's Calendar
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