New law has little impact for drug addicts
Drug addicts still end up in prison instead of rehabilitation centers despite the passage of the new narcotics law that differentiates their treatment from that of drug traffickers.
Jakarta Police spokesman, Boy Rafli Amar, said on Wednesday that a lack of state-run rehabilitation institutions has hindered the proper treatment of addicts arrested and sentenced on drug charges.
He also said that the police would need to further study the new law to apply it properly, and could not work solo on this issue. “We will need to work with other related institutions.”
According to founder of the private-sector Yakita Drug and Treatment Center in Bogor, Joyce Djaelani Gordon, putting drug addicts in prison would not solve their problem or facilitate change.
“Putting drug addicts in prison only alienates them further from society because it brands them as criminals,” she added.
Law No.35 of 2009 categorizes drug addicts as victims that must be sent to rehabilitation centers instead of prison.