Proposals for alternatives to criminal prosecution and incarceration for drug-related offenses in Latin America

June 1, 2014
International Drug Policy Consortium

Latin America is immersed in a prison epidemic. The so-called “war on drugs” and harsher criminal penalties underlie the increase in the prison population. “One-size-fits-all” policies and severe sanctions have left the region’s countries in a prison crisis that threatens future generations. Instead of proposing a single model, therefore, multiple pathways should be explored.

This briefing by the International Drug Policy Consortium focuses on the judicial and prison systems, seeking to offer a variety of experiences that demonstrate how various situations can be addressed: occasional and recreational use, dependent or problem use of substances, small-scale drug dealing by vulnerable members of the trafficking chain (dependent users who sell for survival), and differences among the different levels of leadership in dealing and international trafficking.