Alternatives to punishment for women who use drugs
(Rule 61, Chapter 1)
Initiated in 2018, the SÜTIK programme in Estonia enables police officers to refer people who use drugs who have committed a drug-related offence to a support person, as an alternative to punishment. There is a 24/7 hotline to facilitate referrals by police officers and prosecutors, and for those who need instant help or information about the programme. The programme provides peer counselling, support and voluntary referrals to health and social programmes as needed in order to improve coping skills, health outcomes, opportunities for finding and retaining employment, and the overall quality of life of people who use drugs. The philosophy of SÜTIK is aligned with the harm reduction philosophy.
The findings to date indicate that women are more likely to stay actively engaged with the programme than men. Promising results from the pilot project have led to the programme’s expansion. The programme has now been expanded to Ida-Viru County and for formerly incarcerated people who have a history of drug use.
For more information see:
ljona Kurbatova and Marin Vaher, ‘The ”SÜTIK” Program: Supporting and Empowering People Who Use Drugs in Estonia‘, WOLA, IDPC and DEjusticia, 2020.