June 5, 2012

Former NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow Mario Sobrinho, Public Ministry of São Paulo, Brazil, helped organize a 2-day seminar on therapeutic justice for government and police officials, prosecutors, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Dr. Sobrinho worked with officials at the U.S. Consulate office in São Paulo as part of a series of meetings organized to discuss ways to improve the performance of government in relation to drugs. Secretary of Justice Eloisa Alvarez de Souza opened the event at the São Paulo State Prosecutor’s Office by stating that drugs have become a principal problem for the state and officials do not know how to cope with the problem. Ronaldo Laranjeira, M.D., Ph.D., a psychiatrist at the Federal University of São Paulo, attributed the increasing number of addicts in Brazil to “a phenomenal network for narcotics distribution and cheap prices.” Tara Kunkel, management consultant at the National Center for State Courts in Virginia, told participants that drug courts separate nonviolent drug users from the criminal system by offering drug treatment instead of incarceration. She added that more than 2,400 drug courts function in the United States. Dr. Sobrinho focused on drug courts during his Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship professional affiliation at the National Center for State Courts. The meeting was held May 17–18, 2012, in São Paulo.