Enhancement of prison health at international level goes on
News from HWBs Board of Directors on December 2015
The most recent HWBs Board of Directors took place on the 12th December 2015 in Rome, at the ISSP (Italian Institute for Superior Prison Studies). President Roberto Monarca and Vice-President Fabio Sternberg, several representatives of the societies APSEP, SIMSPe and SESP attended the meeting, as well as an observer, Dr. Linda Montanari from EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drug and Drug Addiction).
The participants were also pleased to welcome Dr Mauro Palma, Vice-Head of the Italian Prison Administration Department, who gave his greetings to the audience, underlining the importance that HWBs takes on in the current years, and wishing to the members to improve the results of their work within the Federation.
During the Board, Dr. Montanari displayed the European Questionnaire on Drug Use among Prisoners (EQDP), a project by EMCDDA in collaboration with other organizations, aiming to create a data set collecting information and statistics about drug users and issues connected with drug addiction from several European custodial settings, for the improvement of health among inmates under a public benefit perspective.
HWBs reported as well about the two main projects that have recently been undertaken. One is “Systematic Literature Review on interventions for communicable diseases and control in prison and other custodial settings”, promoted by the ECDC (European Centre for Disease prevention and Control) and undertaken by HWBs within a consortium formed with Pallas, a health research and consultancy centre based in the Netherlands. The overall objective of this assignment is to perform a systematic literature review on interventions, cost-effectiveness and service models for communicable diseases prevention and control in prisons and other custodial settings, with a special focus on EU/EEA, covering peer-reviewed and grey literature on predefined and additional macro-areas. As part of the assignment, a multi-disciplinary expert-panel will be consulted and the resulting knowledge will be used to develop a draft of the guidance document.
The other project which currently involves HWBs is PrHep-EU 2 (Prison Hepatitis in Europe 2), financed by the GoShape Programme from Gilead. It is a time-set pilot study to identify inmates affected by communicable diseases, in particular Hepatitis C. The number of prison population will be identified through an ad-hoc survey, which will be used as the common denominator of the obtained results in 13 selected Italian, Dutch, French and Spanish Penitentiary Institutes. Those who are taking part to the PrHep-EU2 should write a protocol together, in which they subscribe the same terms and conditions to carry on the project. These decisions will be further discussed and definitely ratified at the Kick-off meeting, which will be organised in the following months.
Two presentations about HWBs’ financial budget (not including the funds allocated for the projects) and the work of the secretariat were showed to the audience, for explaining what the Federation’s day-to-day work consists of. Also, a proposal of creating an European data Set collecting information from the penal institutions in which the members work, in order to gain a general framework of the current situation in European prisons, was shortly displayed.
Finally, the meeting ended with the unanimous decision to accept and welcome a newly established organisation dealing with prison health issues, I.Care from Belgium, among the official members of HWBs. Participants were thanked and greeted by the President, who wished them success with their upcoming work.
To read the complete Report of the Board of Directors, check the link below: