Prison-based Therapeutic Communities for addictions: A Handbook for Prison Adminsitrations, Treatment Professionals and Trainers


Modern Therapeutic Communities (TCs) complement drug treatment systems in prisons and offer detained people with substance use disorders an environment in which they can reorganise their lives without crime and addictions.

This handbook on prison-based TCs was produced by the Pompidou Group with the help of renowned TC experts to assist member states in establishing and running a successful TC programme in custodial settings. It offers guidance on design, planning and implementation of a TC as well as a 10-module curriculum for trainers. It also includes lessons learned from the Pompidou Group’s experience in establishing the first prison-based TC for treating substance use disorder in the Republic of Moldova. Since “Catharsis” in Pruncul prison has opened its doors for drug dependent people in 2018 many residents of the TC successfully completed the programme.

The handbook, which is a product of the PG’s Criminal Justice and Prison Programme, can be downloaded together with the accompanying training materials free of charge.

 Watch brief video presentation of the Handbook

 Click here to download the publication 'Prison-based Therapeutic Communities: A Handbook for Prison Adminsitrations, Treatment Professionals and Trainers'



Training Curriculum - Resource pack

Each of the 10 modules of the Training Curriculum is supported by a handout pack of PowerPoint slides, exercises, case-studies and background reading materials. The presentations and handout packs can be downloaded by clicking on the links below. 


The Presentations are intended for the use of the trainers and should serve as a suggestion for a comprehensive training curriculum. 

 Click here to access the Presentations




The Handouts are intended for the use of students particpating in the training curriculum. They consist of supplements entailing exercises, practical examples and case-studies. 

  Click here to access the Handouts




Background reading materials for all modules of the TC Handbook are available for download. 

 Click here to access the reading materials





Learn from professionals how to apply the therapeutic community approach for specific target groups.

 Click here to learn on what to pay attention to when dealing with specific target group







Professionals about the Handbook


 This handbook and its associated workshop and reading materials are the most approachable introduction to TCs currently in circulation.

Keith L. Warren, College of Social Work, Ohio State University, Columbus, USA


  Although a therapeutic community is a complex methodology with multiple treatment interventions, the handbook has succeeded in presenting this in a short, specific and understandable way. 

Rune Hafstad, Clinical Director, Phoenix Haga, Norway


  This handbook for me captures every essence of this unique treatment model and evidences that the core values of the Therapeutic Community are not only a guide for prisons, staff and professional others, but a guide for humanity itself.  

Florence Fowler, Former Director, Phoenix TC, Wymott Prison, UK


 Have you used this Handbook and resource pack for your work? We encourage you to give us your feedback! Click here to contact the Pompidou Group