Olga Blinova Voronezh Autonomous Non-Profit Organisation AntiAIDS Centre. Experience of Cooperation between Law Enforcement Institutions and Civic Organisations Pilot Scheme of Referrals for Drug Users in Voronezh City, Russia. Prerequisites.
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Autonomous Non-Profit Organisation
Experience of Cooperation between Law Enforcement Institutions and Civic Organisations Pilot Scheme of Referrals for Drug Users in Voronezh City, Russia
Links between drug use and drug-related crime:
both crime and drug use
are related to other social
Difficulty in getting access to efficient treatment and prevention services
This a partner initiative between the police and local services working with drug users.
Target group: drug users detained at Levoberezhny PD
Goal: stemming the spread of HIV-infection, other socially significant illnesses and drug-related crime
Enhancing access to available treatment and prevention services and rehabilitation programmes
are realised by police-independent services using the fact of detentionby the police as akey opportunityto offer help and access to treatment with a view to stemming drug-related crime
No alternative to criminal persecution or law enforcement but a direct way from the jail to treatment and prevention services.
Work to involve people at the place of detention for an administrative offence: all detainees are offered an opportunity to meet a counsellor to obtain referral for treatment
A police officer invites a counsellor to work with the detainee
The counsellor establishes a trust-based relationship with the client and interviews him or her
Finding out the detainee's needs
Compiling a social assistance plan
referral of detainees for treatment to state medical services and available programmes The counsellor’s task: interview, issue of referral, escort
UNODC – financial and methodological assistance
Voronezh County Central Authority of the Interior (GUVD)
Voronezh County Administration
Central Authority of Health and AIDS medical services
Voronezh County Public Chamber ROA
Meetings with the Governor of Voronezh County, heads of the GUVD and the FSKN, health care chiefs
Levoberezhny District of Voronezh was chosen the programme site as one of the most difficult districts from the viewpoint of drug use.
The management of the GUVD and the RUVD of Levoberezhny District of Voronezh supported the initiative to become a pilot project site
all drug users detained for administrative offences or crimes are issued a project card with the counsellor's telephone number
Counsellors for referral for treatment: these are specialists for working with detained drug users at police units - the staff of the AntiAIDS Centre
Their key task is to identify problem drug users among the detainees and refer them to relevant services.
Counsellors often continue supporting the detainees throughout the entire period of awaiting treatment or other help.
Information on services available: medical, social, psychological, legal
Ability to listen – basic skills of psychological counselling
Ability to evaluate
Ability to communicate and establish relations with the police, social services, NGOs, etc.
To explain the scheme to detainees
To issue referrals for treatment
To develop work with the police, partner organisations providing medical and social services
Collection of information and interviews
Treatment can be defined as a kind of interference aimed at correction of a certain problem or disease having impact on behaviour or psychological conditions.
Treatment starts from full assessment followed by compilation of the assistance plan;
further treatment is based on agreed social assistance procedures.
Psychological assistance is included in the concept of treatment.
Obstacles to treatment
Fear of registration as a drug user
Opinion that treatment services available are little efficient
Over 3 months (January to March 2007) of work the project was contacted by 54 IDUs
Increase in activity of the police in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention
Enhancing access to medical and social services
Carrying out project-based research to analyse the situation
Access to another, more closed group of IDUs (80% of clients of the pilot scheme were not involved in HR programmes)
Account of priorities of the current law enforcement system: the role of the police is to prevent recurrence of crimes and to curb crime
Selection and training of counsellors: to know where and what to say, communicative abilities, legal knowledge
Aiming at practical results: treatment, withdrawal from drug use as a long-term outcome
Curbing high-risk behavioural practices
(no use of non-sterile injection paraphernalia)
Reduction of drug use
Retention in the treatment programme
Stemming drug-related crime
Reducing the pace of spread of HIV, virus hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases