PRS20 - Address and reduce drug use of persons in prison and those recently released through data analysis and intervention programs

Last updated on 22-2-2024 by Els Plettinckx
Project duration:
January 1, 2021
-
June 30, 2023

In short

This project increases the knowledge about (mental) health subjects among persons in detention to create an effective and efficient drug-related prison policy. Persons in prison in particular but also the society at large should benefit from the results of this project. We aim to improve health, care and the detention conditions within prison.

Project description

The action is beneficial at a local, national and European level. The needs of persons in detention and persons with a prison history are assessed in five European countries in order to design the appropriate interventions based on their specific needs. The collection of data will provide an image of the situation in the European prisons and will allow each country to design and implement interventions. 

The general objectives are to:

  • assess the current situation & needs of persons with a prison history in relation to drugs and alcohol use
  • make an inventory of interventions for persons in prison
  • develop a manual with recommendations on existing programs and best practices for persons with a prison histrory

In light of the large overlap that exists between prison and drug use, prison settings are an important source of data for understanding the characteristics and estimating the size of populations of people who use drugs. This type of research offers an opportunity to reach people who use drugs in prison who might never, or only much later, have contact with drug treatment services. In some cases, imprisonment can force some people to stop using drugs, and improve their quality of live. However, prison can also be a setting for initiation into drug use or for switching from one drug to another, often due to lack of availability of the preferred drug inside prison. Studies also suggest that incarceration has an additional negative impact on these already vulnerable populations. Imprisonment is, for example, associated with higher rates of heroin, cocaine use or increased benzodiazepine use in injecting drug users and earlier relapse after inpatient treatment, both in prison and outside prison.

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