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Drug Treatment Reform and Prevention of Recidivism in Taiwan: 2023 International Symposium

In order to enhance drug judicial treatment practices in Taiwan and promote dialogue between the judicial and public health sectors, the TADTP collaborated with the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan High Prosecutors Office, CTBC Anti-Drug Educational Foundation, Taiwanese Society of Addiction Science, NADCP, and the DEA Educational Foundation.

On April 28, 2023 we organized an international symposium "Drug Treatment Reform and Prevention of Recidivism in Taiwan: 2023 International Symposium"  and invited experts and scholars in the field of drug treatment from the United States, Germany, and Japan. Our aim was to encourage an international dialogue with Taiwan professionals involved in drug judicial treatment and addiction therapy and to jointly discuss Taiwan's future drug policies and directions in this area.

The symposium was divided into four thematic sessions: Taiwan session, United States session, Germany session, and Japan session.

In the Taiwan session, Prosecutor Ke Yi-Ju from Taiwan High Prosecutors Office and Director Chen Liang-Yu from the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Department of Mental Health delivered keynote speeches. Prosecutor Ke first discussed the evolution of drug policy in Taiwan and the progress made in deferred prosecution and mandated addiction treatment. Subsequently, Director Chen shared the development and effectiveness of medication-assisted addiction treatment services from a healthcare perspective.

In the United States session, Judge Jeffrey Manske from the U.S. Drug Court discussed the operations of U.S Drug Court System, especially about judges playing a distinct role in them. Judge Manske highlighted how drug courts facilitate diverse treatment options for individuals with addiction, under the supervision of the judiciary.

The panel discussion for this session included Prosecutor Lin Ta from Taipei District Prosecutors Office, Director Ming-Chyi Huang at Songde Branch, Taipei City Hospital and Professor Chien Shih-Chun from Cleveland State University in the United States participated in the panel discussion.

The Germany session was led by Professor Jörg Kinzig from the Institute of Criminology at University of Tübingen. He gave a keynote speech sharing Germany’s system of sanctioning (Sanktionen) for drug use and the shift in policy on treatment as an alternative to punishment. Germany has adopted a model that prioritizes medical approaches with judicial support to address drug addiction issues.

The panel discussion for this session included: Prosecutor Lin Ying-Zi from Taiwan High Prosecutors Office, Professor Lien Meng-Chi from Institute of Law for Science and Technology at National Tsing Hua University, and Director Lee Chen-Huang from  Jianan Psychiatric Center, Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The Japan session was presented by Professor Shinichi Ishizuka from the Faculty of Law at Ryukoku University in Japan. He introduced Japan's drug policy, which has shifted from a punitive approach toward a more balanced one, relying on legal measures as well as resource from healthcare, and welfare.

The panel discussion for this session included: Prosecutor Yeh Yao-Chun from Taipei District Prosecutors Office, Chief Judge Wang Jzu-Lung from Taiwan Yunlin District Court, and Director Huang Chieh-Liang from Tsaotun Psychiatric Center, Ministry of Health and Welfare.


The speakers and panelists of each session in this international symposium are the experts and scholars who have dedicated many years to the field of drug justice treatment and addiction therapy. They not only have demonstrated extensive experience in both judicial and clinical practice but have also published numerous influential journal papers. Throughout this symposium’s discussions and shared experiences the drug treatment system in Taiwan has been further enhanced and updated.


The symposium concluded with a panel discussion moderated by the Chief Prosecutor Chang, Tou-Hui from Taiwan High Prosecutors Office. All attending legal and medical professionals had an opportunity for a meaningful dialogue, and to learn from experiences from other countries.


The symposium has received widespread acclaim, and it has marked the beginning of a new chapter in our country’s drug treatment reform. Once again it highlighted Taiwan’s efforts to combine legal and medical approaches in drug treatment system.

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