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Publications

CSD Policy Brief No. 61: Drug users in prison: Norway’s experience and Bulgaria’s challenges
For all criminal offences related to drugs, even for possession of small quantities intended for personal use, the main sanction according to Bulgarian criminal law is imprisonment. Unlike in Norway, non-custodial penalties in Bulgaria such as probation have extremely limited scope of application for drug-related offences. At the same time, other alternatives to imprisonment are virtually non-existent. more »
 
Concept for more effective civic participation in support of vulnerable groups
The concept for more effective civic participation in support of four vulnerable groups aims to identify legislative changes, improvement of practices and policy development by decision makers and the civil society to facilitate vulnerable communities in their interaction with state institutions and establish effective support mechanisms. more »
 
Memoranda with recommendations to institutions, working with vulnerable groups
The initiative ‘Civic Organizations: a Guarantee for Equal Rights of Vulnerable Groups before the State’ encompasses four vulnerable groups: persons deprived of their liberty, victims of human trafficking and domestic violence, as well as persons in need of international protection and other vulnerable foreigners. Although very different, those communities encounter similar problems in their relations with institutions: insufficient human and financial resourcing, work practices not always meeting the needs of vulnerable groups. Thus, oftentimes those persons rely on civil society for improving their status, including through assistance before the respective competent authorities. more »
 
Drug Users in Prison: Norway's Experience and Bulgaria's Challenges
Publication looks over the situation of drug users in two European countries – Norway, known for its social and welfare-oriented state, and Bulgaria, which since the beginning of the transition from totalitarism to democracy lacks sustainable policies on prisons and drugs. The aim of this work is to comparatively present the penal policy towards drug users and the measures taken for convicted people addicted to narcotic substances, to identify those features which can be transferable and can assist Bulgarian authorities to improve the situation of drug users in and outside the prison. Finally, this research will try to propose concrete measures to be taken both within the penitentiary system and as crime prevention efforts among drug users. more »
 
Background report: Drug Users in Prison – the Norwegian Experience
This report is the preliminary research work under the Punishment vs. Treatment: the Situation of Drug Users in Prison initiative which main output is a forthcoming comparative analysis of the treatment of drug users in Bulgarian and Norwegian prisons. The study was prepared by the University of Oslo and it overviews the general context on Norway – general information on the country and its criminal justice system, policy and legislation on drugs explaining what are the perimeters of drug restriction and what are the national policies towards drug use. This information is illustrated with statistics on crime rates and drug crime in particular. It also presents the alternative sanctions available for drug users. more »
 
Background report: Policies on drugs in Bulgarian prisons
This report provides a snapshot of the situation of drug users in Bulgaria. As it is aimed to serve as a basis for comparative study on policies and practice towards drug users, particularly in prisons, in Bulgaria and Norway, it presents the country’s context – general information on the country and its criminal justice system, policy and legislation on drugs explaining what are the perimeters of drug restriction and what are the national policies towards drug use. more »
 
Supporting vulnerable groups before the State: The Role of Civil Society Organisations
The study analyses the mechanisms for interaction between public institutions and NGOs in supporting four vulnerable groups: persons deprived of their liberty, victims of trafficking in human beings, domestic violence survivors, and persons seeking international protection and other vulnerable foreigner nationals. more »
 
Good practices from other states for the participation of NGOs in supporting selected vulnerable groups in their relations with institutions
In order to contribute to the improvement of the situation of Bulgarian NGOs, providing support to selected vulnerable groups – prisoners, victims of trafficking and domestic violence, persons seeking international protection and other vulnerable foreigners – this report presents a selection and summary of good practices from EU Member States, donor states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and countries outside of Europe. more »
 
Vulnerable Groups of Prisoners: A Handbook
In prison, certain groups of inmates are subject to disadvantages due to specifics of their origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc. These groups usually need special treatment, which is not always provided, which leads to unequal treatment and violation of their rights. more »
 
Prison Conditions Monitoring Index: Methodology and Pilot Results
International organisations, national governments and human rights NGOs exercise various types of monitoring of the penitentiary systems. In order to quantify their results, there are some generally accepted indicators (such as the number of inmates per 100.000 citizens), but in many specific areas like healthcare, employment, security and safety, such indicators have never been applied. Therefore, those monitoring efforts will substantially benefit from an instrument capable of supplying comparable and easy-to-use data on the situation in prisons. more »
 

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