Prisons rehabilitation key in the fight against drugs’


By Ebrima Jallow Ousman Saidybah, public relations officer at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, has said that the creation of rehabilitation facilities for inmates arrested for drug related matters will be key in the ‘fight against drugs.’ Speaking to The Standard recently Saidybah said putting these people in jail will not change anything, adding that even if you put the dealers in jail, they will just serve their term and come back to society. “We need to put in place structures that will support rehabilitation, reintegration and transformation. It is internationally agreed that sending drug addicts to prison may not be the ideal alternative rather providing treatment facilities for them is the ideal answer,” he said. He continued: “We may not have actually put in place all the infrastructure that is required to attain this but we are moving towards that by setting up policies and documentation and presently revising the drug control act as a policy instrument so that it is in line with internationally recognised standards of best practices.” According to him the NDLEA are trying to make sure that their operations are in line with the international standard, that is a balanced approach between supply, suppression and drug demand reduction. “I think the youth council needs to be engaged as the parent youth institution to work on issues relating with youths and things affecting them. We have in our plans just as how we engage the media to also engage them but not limited to that and CSOs need to complement governments’s efforts in not only trying to sensitise them but provide alternative for youths by creating more employment, build their skills and techniques because isolating them is not the solution.”]]>