Minors who are arrested for drugs in the canton of Desamparados and Guadalupe will be enrolled in a program called “Juntos por todos” (together for everyone) that will treat the entire family.
According to the Minister of Security, Gustavo Mata, said this strategy seeks to prevent drug use among minors, through the integration of institutions such as the National Children’s Trust (PANI), the Costa Rican Institute on Drugs (ICD), the Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (IAFA) and the Genesis Foundation.
The authorities say that this is an innovative mechanism that will start as a pilot plan. Young people will be treated for six months with their parents, psychologists and social workers in a center located in San Francisco de Dos Ríos.
If not addressed now, the problem will continue to grow in the future. We hope we can intervene in the risk zones,
said Olger Bogantes, deputy director of the ICD. The treatment is mandatory and will be funded by the ICD.
Luis Sandí, director of IAFA, said that minors are at high risk and this will be one of the first programs to be offered to the public. Data from the Ministry of Security indicate that five thousand minors were arrested in 2016 for drug-related crimes.
PANI’s director, Ana Teresa León, said that if a young person is arrested for the second time with drugs, the entity will open a process against the parents for negligence.
The institutions expect to have a minimum of 64 sessions per month. The project will be analyzed in six months to involve more cantons.