It has been reported that the usage of drugs in Indonesia is on the rise. With this in mind, the country is all set to adopt a new way of handling drug users and will be sending them to rehabilitation centres instead of prison. A memorandum of understanding was signed on March 11, 2014 by seven government bodies, which emphasizes the preference for rehab centers as opposed to prison.


The Law and Human Rights Minister, Amir Syamsuddin said, “The problem is not merely about the lack of [correctional] facilities. Building more prisons will not solve the problem; maximizing rehabilitation efforts, however, as stipulated in the Narcotics Law, will”. Officials from the National Narcotics Agency, the Health Ministry, the Attorney General’s Office, the Supreme Court, the Social Affairs Ministry and the National Police have all signed the latest memorandum of understanding.

According to the agreement, the country will organize joint assessment teams consisting of legal and medical personnel at all levels – national, municipal, provincial and regency – in order to determine if the suspect is a drug dealer, victim or a user. According to the 2009 Narcotics Law of Indonesia, the judges are allowed to issue rehabilitation orders instead of jail sentences to drug users and drug abuse victims.

However, the results are yet to be shown, as it is missing common understanding or approach in implementing the law.

Photo Credits: JustAsiaNews


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