Pompidou Group - Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs

The main objective of the Drugs in Prisons Programme is improving health in penitentiaries with respect for human rights. Prison is a high risk environment both for the prisoners and the staff.

In particular, injecting drug users are exposed to various health risks: overdosing, abscessed infections of injection sites, and the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis C or HIV.
Limiting the spread of communicable diseases in prisons thus benefits prisoners as well as society as a whole, and reduces the burdens on a country's health system.

The Programme aims to develop strategies of drug treatment and social re-integration for drug-using detainees in an effort to reduce relapse and recidivism. The promotion of through-care shall sustain drug treatment efforts and guarantee continuing care for people entering and leaving prison. The programme comprises a strong element of cooperation between the countries involved and aims to extend best practices throughout Europe as a whole.
 Raising awareness about human rights and public health needs in prison

 Training of prison staff on drug treatment, harm reduction and rehabilitation

 Implementing participatory drug prevention activities for detainees

 Disseminating Europe’s good practice examples and facilitating regional collaboration
Supporting Ukraine’s Prison Reform

The Pompidou Group’s drug policy and public health experts contributed to the success of the International Conference on “Health Care Behind the Bars” that took place 9-10 July in Kiev. As co-chair of this important conference, the Pompidou Group has assembled the highest expertise to support the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine in tackling risks related to drug use and blood borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C. Professor Heino Stöver from Germany, Dr. Jörg Pont from Austria, as well as Dr. Andrej Kastelic and Dr. Nusa Segrec from Slovenia provided a vast array of knowledge, and presented on topics such as “International Prison Health Care Standards and Medical Ethics” and “Drug Dependent Treatment Services in Prison Settings”. More than 150 prison health specialists attended the conference that was organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and supported by USAID, the World Health Organization, and UNAIDS.

Georgian Ministers attend project launch in Tbilisi

Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr Aleksandre Tabatadze, Deputy Minister of Education, Ms Lia Gigauri, and the Head of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia, Mr Alessandro Savaris, as well as high –level representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Corrections and Ministry of Health attended the Alternatives to Imprisonment for Drug Dependent Offenders project launch and round table on 22 June in Tbilisi. During the event, participants discussed possible policy amendments which would allow the criminal justice system to send drug offenders to treatment and rehabilitation facilities instead of prisons. The round table has been organised by the Pompidou Group and was hosted by the Ministry of Justice. It is part of the regional project, ‘’Criminal Justice Responses to Drug Dependent Prisoners’’, within the CoE/EU Eastern Partnership Programmatic Co-operation Framework (PCF).

Working together for penitentiary reform in the Republic of Moldova

Two reasons to celebrate: First, participants at the “Training for Integrated Care for Drug-using Inmates in Therapeutic Communities (TC)” that took place in Chisinau, 25-28 May 2015, received a personal certificate for acquiring the basic knowledge to run a Therapeutic Community in prisons. And second, the Pompidou Group and the Department of Penitentiary Institutions of the Republic of Moldova, represented by Ms Ana Dabija, signed on 29 May 2015 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the aim of consolidating effective co-operation between the two parties in the implementation of the project “Establishing Therapeutic Communities in Prisons”, which is part of the regional project “Criminal Justice Responses to Drug Dependent Prisoners” within the CoE/EU Eastern Partnership Programmatic Co-operation Framework (PCF). Together with the Norwegian NGO Phoenix Haga, the Pompidou Group will support the Moldovan partners to develop by 2017 two Therapeutic Communities, one in a female prison (Rusca) and one in a male prison (Pruncul). Therapeutic Communities are an effective tool for treating drug addiction, complementing other health and social services for drug dependent prisoners.


CoE/EU Eastern Partnership Programmatic Co-operation Framework (PCF)

As a part of the Council of Europe and European Union Eastern Partnership Programmatic Co-operation Framework (PCF) the Pompidou Group has enacted projects to further prison reforms in eastern Europe. With the project “Criminal Justice Responses to Drug Dependent Prisoners”, we have engaged a regional focus, aimed at supporting the enhancement of legislative and regulatory frameworks in the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, and the Republic of Armenia. The main goals this project is to bring national legislation and policies on the execution of criminal sanctions in line with European standards, to improve penitentiary health care conditions, to combat prison overcrowding, and to support the use of therapeutic community measures. In the Republic of Moldova, we have coordinated with penitentiary institutions to establish self-help groups and therapy sessions for drug dependent offenders inside prisons. In Georgia, we have paired with different Ministries to discover alternatives to imprisonment of drug dependent offenders in order to reduce crime and prevent reoffending while improving health in prisons and in the community. And in Ukraine and Armenia we plan improve drug treatment systems within prisons

Tender notice for prison wards refurbishing in Moldova

The Pompidou Group together with the Department of Penitentiary Institutions of the Republic of Moldova is looking for a construction company that can refurbish a prison ward in Pruncul Prison, Republic of Moldova.

To open the tender notice, click here:


Architectural Plans:
Plan 1
Plan 2

Implementation of a Therapeutic Community (TC)

We are looking for an eligible expert and evaluator to carry out the consultancy on “Assessment of NGO New Life’s rehabilitation methodology and practical implementation of a Therapeutic Community (TC).

Open the PDF