Punitive Drug Law and the Risk Environment for Injecting Drug Users: Understanding the Connections
Jessica V. Chiu
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law
July 9, 2012
This paper, prepared for the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, reviews the evidence documenting the effects of punitive laws and law enforcement practices on the HIV risk environment for injecting drug users (IDUs). It then provides an overview of global drug policy, drawing on a mixture of regional reports and country case studies. Section lll summarises the adoption of harm reduction practices and policies. Finally, the paper looks at a selection of strategies that countries around the world have implemented to improve the HIV risk environment for IDUs. These include interventions to make law enforcement less harmful and more conducive to health; the integration of harm reduction and drug treatment programmes into the criminal justice system; and changes to national anti-drug laws for possession and individual use that move away from punitive anti-drug penalties.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 58
Keywords: police, public health, criminalization, drug policy
Date posted: July 9, 2012