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70% of around 850 prison inmates sentenced for drug related offences

70% of around 850 prison inmates sentenced for drug related offences
Mar 29 2023 Share

According to the newly released National Drug Policy, research shows that of 850 inmates hosted by the Correctional Service Agency, 40% were held for drug related offences and 70% sentenced by the courts for drug related offences. 

The CSA is responsible for the operations of the only prison in Malta. With 40% held for drug related offences, 30% of these were held under arrest pending trial. 

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Recidivism (reoffending) when it comes to rehabilitation seemed to be around 75% for all, but that related to drug use, heroin use, such individuals were more likely to re-offend. 

‘Between September 2015 and December 2020, sittings by the tribunal chaired by the Commissioner of Justice, the majority of cases processed were related to possession of cannabis grass, with 1277 cases (42%). This was followed by cannabis resin, with a total of 620 cases (20%).’ 

‘A total of 1897 cases (62%) were, therefore, related to cannabis possession. Cocaine possession accounted for 616 cases (20%). A further 236 cases (8%) were for possession of ecstasy, while cases related to heroin possession amounted to 174 (6%).’

‘It also worthy of note that some 228 individuals were between the ages of 14 and 17 with the majority of these aged 16 and 17.’

The policy revealed that the problems that arise in this regard are addressed at the newly opened centre at Tal-Ibwar, which provides residential and day services. 

Read the full report here.

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Cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin & synthetic most popular with Maltese youth

Cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin & synthetic most popular with Maltese youth
Mar 29 2023 Share

According to the newly released National Drug Policy, research has shown that cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and heroin, followed by new synthetic psychoactive substances, are the most commonly used drugs among the younger age cohort. 

This is reportedly the case the world over, with psychotropic medication, such as tranquillisers and antidepressants, being the most widely misused prescription drugs in the age cohort of 35 and over. 

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Many more males than females use drugs while this is the reverse with respect to the misuse of prescription medication. 

This has led the judiciary and law enforcement to focus on reducing the supply of drugs by preventing trafficking to our islands. This was coupled by work to dismantle drug crime organisations. 

Over the years, drug law offences have on average been around 500 each year, with some 75% of these having been for possession. The remaining 25% were for trafficking. Here, the two main drugs were cocaine and cannabis. 

Read the full report here.

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Minister urges banks to stop discriminating against former inmates

Minister urges banks to stop discriminating against former inmates
Mar 29 2023 Share

Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality Minister Byron Camilleri delivered a speech in parliament to urge banks to stop discriminating against former prison inmates wising to open up accounts after rehabilitation. 

Citing an anecdote of a former prisoner who reportedly found employment after release but was turned away by a local bank despite having learned new skills and rehabilitated himself. 

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The Minister said that he intends to reach out the banks to ensure that former inmates are not being turned away from this right.

The discrimination, Camilleri said, makes these individuals feel as if they are limited in their options in starting a new life. ‘Is society trying to convince these people that it is not worthwhile trying to change or rehabilitate’ he asked, rhetorically. 

Thus, Camilleri intends to work closer with the banks to ensure that these people are no longer victimised and get a newer chance at life. 

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‘The rapist is you’: protest flashmob outside Msida police station

'The rapist is you': protest flashmob outside Msida police station
Mar 29 2023 Share

Activist group Moviment Graffitti held a flash mob on Tuesday in front of the Msida Police Station to protest the unrest and senseless acquittal of a former police officer charged with raping and harassing a female colleague on multiple occasions in 2018.

 

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The protest saw the activists performing a piece called ‘The Rapist is You’, which is a well known performance piece originating from Chile. 

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The protest targets the blaming of sexual assault victims, with the demonstration reframing the scenario through the chant of ‘It wasn’t my fault: not where I was, not how I dressed. You are the rapist. It’s the police. The judges. The state.’

Moviment Graffitti highlighted how in a verdict last week, a judge ‘unnecessarily mentioned that the woman had avoided answering questions about her personal life, and ruled that the accused’s confession to raping his colleague could not be considered evidence because the caution was not administered according to the law at the time.’ 

‘In light of the insensitivity we witnessed, we reiterate calls for quicker judicial procedures, stronger training to the judiciary and a culture within our Justice system that regularly resorts to external rape trauma experts that can show empathy to victims’ the group said.

The protest was backed by other activists groups such as Young Progressive Beings, MGRM and the Women’s Rights Foundation. 

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