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 very risky environment both for the prisoners and the staff.

In particular, injecting drug users are exposed to various health risks; namely, 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 both prisoners as well as society as a whole and reduces the burdens on a country's health system.

The project aims to develop strategies of drug treatment and social re-insertion of drug using detainees in order 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 at extending best practice throughout Europe as a whole.
• Dissemination of best practices examples on opiate substitution treatment in prisons
• Training of psychologists in the framework of cascade trainings
• Implementing participatory drug prevention activities for detainees
• Raising awareness about stigmatisation of drugs users and the importance of drug treatment, harm reduction and rehabilitation
• Facilitating regional collaboration
• Building prison administration capacities to implement harm reduction measures
• Building prisons administration capacities to overcome pre-judgments and misconceptions towards harm reduction and drug treatment
• Raising awareness about drug consumption risks and to promote adequate anti-drugs measures in prisons
• Establishing training and information materials
“Treatment and Harm Reduction in Moldovan Prisons” (2010-2011)

“Preventing Drug Trafficking and Abuse in Prisons - Extending Best Practices in Eastern Europe and Balkan region” (2012-2013)

“Supporting Drug Treatment Services in Prisons - Extending Best Practices in Eastern Europe and Balkan region” (2013-2014)
Call for tenders: Criminal Justice Responses to Drug Dependent Prisoners
The Pompidou Group calls for tenders for a long-term consultancy in the framework of the Joint Programme Eastern Partnership Programmatic Co-operation Framework (PCF) 2015-2017. The deadline to respond to the call is 12 December 2014. The project “Criminal Justice Responses to Drug Dependent Prisoners” is focussing on training for prison staff, establishing regional co-operation, and developing a strategic approach on prison overcrowding and on alternatives to imprisonment.

Drug Treatment Systems Overview

Researchers from eleven different countries met on 19 February 2014 at the European Youth Centre of the Council of Europe in Budapest in order to prepare a publication on drug treatment systems in Eastern and South-Eastern European prisons. Here are some impressions of the meeting:
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Building Drug courts in Malta
On 5- 6 November 2013, an expert team put together by the Pompidou Group and invited by the Maltese National Commission on Drugs consulted the Maltese government and important stakeholders in the police and in the judiciary and civil society on the principles, ethics and objectives of quasi-coerced treatment as well as on the Norwegian experience with drug courts.
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Recent news
International organisations jointly committed to healthy prisons
The expert meeting on prison health in Europe which took place in Strasbourg on the 27 May was opened by the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni who advocated for good prison health across Europe based on international standards. The meeting was jointly organised by the Pompidou Group in co-operation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and brought together high level representatives of international organisations in the field of prison health as well as representatives from the European Court of Human Rights, the European Committee for the prevention of Torture and the Criminal Law Cooperation Unit of the Council of Europe. The aim was to outline the current institutional landscape of prison health in Europe and to explore how to achieve a stronger commitment of health authorities for prisoners’ health. It was agreed that the existing body of international rules and standards for the protection and promotion of the health and well-being of prisoners must be subject to continuous evaluation and development and must take into account the latest developments and scientific evidence in the fields of human rights protection, medical ethics, prevention of torture and ill-treatment and public health. The meeting was also an opportunity to launch together with WHO the new version of the prison health handbook “Prisons and Health”.

Follow the links below for the presentations:

Mauro Palma
suite Marzena Ksel MD
suite Linda Montanari, Luis Royuela, Dagmar Hedrich
suite Europris
suite Dr. Fabienne Hariga
suite Roberto Monarca
suite HIPP
suite Sophia Bessias
suite WHO
suite CEB
suite Dr. Eamonn O'Moore

MOLDOVA speaks up for better drug treatment services and against social exclusion of prisoners

During three major events in Chisinau – an Open Air Concert entitled “Music is my Drug”, a medical forum on drug dependency treatment and HIV prevention as well as an educative quiz for prisoners – young people, health care professionals and decision makers called for improving drug treatment services and fighting the stigma of people who use drugs, including people who are imprisoned. The events had been jointly organised by the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under the auspices of the National Drug Control Committee and in partnership with the NGO “Positive Initiative”.

“Music is my Drug”
On June 23rd the open air music concert “Music is my Drug” was organised, gathering more than 1000 young people and families to enjoy local rock band performances in a drug and alcohol free zone. Ten Moldovan bands performed on a voluntary basis at the "Summer Green-Theatre" in Chisinau: Zdob si Zdub, Ana Gulco and X, Cuibul, Paralela 47, Veriga, Yolka Flyman, Infected Rain, Fire Love, DARA, and Longa. The opening act of the concert was a performer coming from the female prison Number 7. Combining rock music and anti-drug messages provided an opportunity to question the common misconceptions that associate the rock music scene with drug use, a stereotype all performers were eager to break. The revenue from the ticket sales was donated to drug rehabilitation centres and the Therapeutic Community from Berezchi Anenii Noi rayon. The main organiser of the event, the NGO “Positive Initiative”, supports the rehabilitation of drug users including prisoners in Moldova.
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Medical Forum on Drug Dependence Treatment and HIV prevention
The Minister of Health of the Republic of Moldova, Andrei Usatîi, attended the International Conference held in Chisinau from 24th to 25th June, where the invited specialists and representatives from governmental, international and non-governmental organisations discussed the latest international evidence on addiction treatment and drug services. The event gathered 90 professionals, including medical doctors, international and regional well known experts, and key specialists from the field of addiction treatment in order to streamline, centralise and disseminate medical knowledge on medication assisted treatment (MAT), harm reduction and psycho-social support in Moldova. The productive exchange of information and best practices amongst colleagues from all over Moldova and with regional and international experts was found very useful by the participants.
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Intellectual Quiz “BRAIN RING” for prisoners
The Anti-Drug Campaign in Moldova also involved prisons and pre-trial detention centres which have a significant number of prisoners using drugs and facing heightened stigma and discrimination in society during and after imprisonment. On June 26th an intellectual game, called “Brain Ring”, for prisoners was organised. The event was made possible due to the close cooperation with the Department of Penitentiary Institutions, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Moldova and with support from the NGO “Positive Initiative”. All inmates from 9 different prisons participated in the quiz which tested general knowledge with a special focus on issues related to drug use, HIV and tuberculosis. The three winning teams competed in a free setting: a restaurant in Chisinau city. In order to support the participants, the relatives and family members were also invited to the event.
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suite Webpage of the CoE office in Chisinau, Moldova

Drug Prevention Award Ceremony in Romanian Prison

The theatre in the Targsor women prison was completely crowded on 30th of April during the award ceremony for the winners and participants of the drug prevention poster contest. 75 female and male inmates attended the event which had been organised by the Pompidou Group and the Romanian Anti-Drug Agency in collaboration with the National Prison Administration. All inmates who had been producing drug prevention posters in the framework of project "Preventing Drug Trafficking and Abuse in Romanian Prisons" received a certificate and a prize. The 10 winners who have been selected by an international jury received special prizes as well as a glossy brochure containing coloured pictures of all art works created during the projects. The participants cheered and applauded each time when the Head of the Anti-Drug Agency, Mr Sorin Oprea, called a person to come forward to receive a his or her award.

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