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Health in prisons: fact sheets for 38 European countries (2019)

The fact sheets for 38 countries in the WHO European Region present data on prison health systems and services, collected between 2016 and 2017. The purpose of the fact sheets is to present a snapshot of what is currently known about prison health-care systems and services across the European Region. Each fact sheet provides a summary of select indicators belonging to the eight domains of the Health in Prisons European Database (HIPED). The data presented for these indicators are grouped under the following headings: prison population, prison health systems, prison health-care workforce, prison environment and risk factors, disease screening, prevalence of communicable diseases, prevention of infection, treatment and mortality. The content comprises key aspects of prison health that are relevant to national decision-makers. The aim of this work is to improve monitoring and surveillance systems in prisons, and to improve broader health outcomes. (WHO Europe, 2019)


Utilization of opioid agonist therapy among incarcerated persons with opioid use disorder in Vancouver, Canada.

Bozinoff N, DeBeck K, Milloy MJ, Nosova E, Fairbairn N, Wood E, Hayashi K.

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 Dec 1;193:42-47. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.09.003.


Supervised drug consumption sites considered for Canadian prisons

Correctional service 'exploring' new harm-reduction measure, union says Drumheller Institution a possible site. (CBC, Kanada, 28.03.2019)


Severe mental illness and substance use disorders in prisoners in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prevalence studies

Baranyi, Gergő et al.

The Lancet Global Health , Volume 7 , Issue 4 , e461 - e471 


USA. Breaking the Cycle: Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in the Criminal Justice System 

For persons with an opioid use disorder who are in the criminal justice system, the process of transitioning from jail or prison back to the community can be overwhelming. Within three months of release from custody, 75 percent of people who were in prison or jail with an opioid use disorder experience a relapse to opioid use. It is also alarming that incarcerated persons who are released to the community are between 10 and 40 times more likely to die of an opioid overdose than the general American population—especially within a few weeks after reentering society. (SAMHSA, USA, 15.03.2019)


USA. Methadone Helped Her Quit Heroin. Now She’s Suing U.S. Prisons to Allow the Treatment.

About to enter a federal prison, a Massachusetts woman is not permitted to continue taking the opioid as a treatment to block cravings and withdrawal from heroin addiction. (New York Times, 15.03.2019)


Effectiveness of medication assisted treatment for opioid use in prison and jail settings: A meta-analysis and systematic review.

Moore KE, Roberts W, Reid HH, Smith KMZ, Oberleitner LMS, McKee SA.

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2019 Apr;99:32-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2018.12.003.



Illicit substance use after release from prison among formerly incarcerated primary care patients: a cross-sectional study.

Chamberlain A, Nyamu S, Aminawung J, Wang EA, Shavit S, Fox AD.

Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2019 Feb 19;14(1):7. doi: 10.1186/s13722-019-0136-6.


Reaching the WHO target of testing persons in jails in prisons will need diverse efforts and resources.

Abel S, Cuzin L, Da Cunha S, Bolivard J-M, Fagour L, Miossec C, et al. (2018)

PLoS ONE 13(8): e0202985. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202985


USA. The Jail Health-Care Crisis

The opioid epidemic and other public-health emergencies are being aggravated by failings in the criminal-justice system. (The New Yorker, USA, 04.03.2019)


Kanada. B.C. moves to stem high rate of overdose deaths by recent inmates

A coroner’s death review panel last year found about two-thirds B.C. residents who died of an illegal drug overdose over a 19-month period had recent contact with the criminal justice system. (Vancouver Sun, Kanada, 30.01.2019)


Köln. Häftling bekam versehentlich Methadon und bricht zusammen

Ein 23-Jähriger ist in Untersuchungshaft zusammengebrochen. Er hatte versehentlich Methadon bekommen. Der Fall beschäftigt jetzt den Landtag. (WR – Westfälische Rundschau, 11.02.2019)


USA. When Going to Jail Means Giving Up The Meds That Saved Your Life

How the Americans With Disabilities Act could change the way the nation’s jails and prisons treat addiction. (The Marshall Project, USA, 29.01.2019)


Health, Polysubstance Use, and Criminal Justice Involvement Among Adults With Varying Levels of Opioid Use.

Winkelman TNA, Chang VW, Binswanger IA.

JAMA Netw Open. 2018 Jul 6;1(3):e180558. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0558.


Medicine in the Penal System.

Opitz-Welke A, Lehmann M, Seidel P, Konrad N.

Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2018 Nov 30;115(48):808-814. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2018.0808.


Köln. Verheerende Wirkung: Sanitäter reicht Methadon an den falschen Häftling in JVA Köln 

(Kölner Stadt Anzeiger, 31.01.2019)


Understanding HIV and hepatitis C virus risk among incarcerated young men with histories of injecting drug use

Walker, Shelley et al.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases , Volume 19 , Issue 2 , 130 - 131 


Outcomes of treatment for hepatitis C in prisoners using a nurse-led, state-wide model of care.

Papaluca T, McDonald L, Craigie A, Gibson A, Desmond P, Wong D, Winter R, Scott N, Howell J, Doyle J, Pedrana A, Lloyd A, Stoove M, Hellard M, Iser D, Thompson A.

J Hepatol. 2019 Jan 14. pii: S0168-8278(19)30024-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2019.01.012.



Bayern. Kalter Entzug: Drogensüchtige in bayerischen Gefängnissen

Wegen Handels mit Betäubungsmitteln musste sich ein Häftling der JVA Kaisheim vor dem Augsburger Amtsgericht verantworten. In bayerischen Gefängnissen werden Drogensüchtige kaum mit Ersatzstoffen wie Methadon behandelt. Dadurch floriert der Handel. (Bayerischer Rundfunk, BR24, 24.01.2019)


WHO / UNODC. Treatment and care for people with drug use disorders in contact with the criminal justice system - Alternatives to Conviction or Punishment

Draft pre-launch publication for initial circulation.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, March 2018. World Health Organization, March 2018


Hepatitis C virus screening and treatment in Irish prisons from a governor and prison officer perspective - a qualitative exploration.

Crowley D, Van Hout MC, Murphy C, Kelly E, Lambert JS, Cullen W.

Health Justice. 2018 Dec 19;6(1):23. doi: 10.1186/s40352-018-0081-6.


Initiating methadone in jail and in the community: Patient differences and implications of methadone treatment for reducing arrests.

Schwartz RP, Kelly SM, Mitchell SG, Gryczynski J, O'Grady KE, Jaffe JH.

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2019 Feb;97:7-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2018.11.006. 



Restoring something lost -- The mental health impact of therapy dogs in prisons (REPORT)

Dr Graham Durcan, Centre for Mental Health, UK, 2018


USA. Caught in Chaos—When Pregnant Women With OUD Are Incarcerated; How OTPs Can Help

This is the story of a young woman with a 15-year history of severe opioid use disorder (OUD), intermittent hospitalization, and incarceration, who becomes pregnant. She has a history of trauma and mental health issues, and few social supports. Her story is the subject of a case report recently published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. (ATForum, USA, 17.12.2018)


Baden-Württemberg. Einheitliche Behandlungsweise gewünscht: Sozialausschuss befasst sich mit der Suchtrehabilitation von Gefangenen

Stuttgart. „Der Justizvollzug stellt kein geeignetes Umfeld zur Überwindung einer Abhängigkeitserkrankung dar.“ Dies erklärte der Vorsitzende des Ausschusses für Soziales und Integration, Rainer Hinderer (SPD), in der Sitzung am Donnerstag, 6. Dezember. Der Ausschuss hat sich auf Antrag der Grünen und der CDU mit der Suchtrehabilitation Gefangener befasst. „Eine in Haft eingeleitete medizinische Rehabilitation erhöht die Chance auf ein drogen- und straffreies Leben“, berichtete Hinderer. (Landtag von Baden-Württemberg, Pressemitteilung 132/2018, 06.12.2018)


Barriers and facilitators to hepatitis C (HCV) screening and treatment—a description of prisoners’ perspective

Des Crowley, Marie Claire Van Hout, John S. Lambert, Enda Kelly, Carol Murphy and Walter Cullen

Harm Reduction Journal 2018, 15:62, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-018-0269-z


Medizin im Justizvollzug - Medicine in the penal system

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2018; 115(48): 808-14; DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2018.0808

Opitz-Welke, Annette; Lehmann, Marc; Seidel, Peter; Konrad, Norbert


High im Knast: Häftlinge erhalten nur selten eine Substitutionstherapie 

Welche schadensmindernden Maßnahmen beim intravenösen Drogenkonsum im Justizvollzug könnten einer Überdosis oder der Ansteckung mit Infektionskrankheiten entgegenwirken? Das wollten Politiker der Linken-Fraktion im Bundestag von der Bundesregierung wissen. Die Antwort war wenig aussagekräftig. (Medical Tribune, 02.12.2018)


USA. Federal Judge Issues Groundbreaking Order to a Jail to Allow Methadone Access

A federal court judge has stated that denying medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to an incarcerated person would “likely” be found unconstitutional. The judge ordered that a plaintiff should have continued access to MAT while he is held in jail for the duration of the case. (FILTER, USA, 27.11.2018)


FREE WEBINAR: How to deliver effective opioid substitute treatment in prisons - Monday 10th December 7 p.m.

How to deliver effective opioid substitute treatment in prisons

This webinar will focus on:

- overcoming organisational and cultural issues,

- stabilisation and assisted withdrawal,

- retox and continuity of care

Dr Joss Bray - Clinical Lead for Drug and Alcohol Treatment in the North East Prisons for Spectrum CIC.
Dr Jake Hard - HMP Eastwood Park and HMP Leyhill, Hanham Health surgery. Chair of the RCGP Secure Environments Group.
Tamara Healey - Non-Medical Prescriber, Substance Misuse, Eastwood Park Prison, Bristol Community Health. (SMMGP - Supporting good practice in drug and alcohol treatment, UK, 05.11.2018)