WHO Europe with the UK Collaborating Centre for Health in Prisons Programme (hosted by Public Health England) would like to develop, with your help, a global network to exchange experience, expert advice and promote innovation in addressing health and healthcare inequalities facing people in prison.

There is marked disparity in research capacity and outputs between countries across the world and the network aims to address this, aiming to ensure that the main beneficiaries of the network will be resource poor countries.

The worldwide prison health research & engagement network (WEPHREN) will provide:

  • A forum for all stakeholders interested in prison health to exchange ideas and to work together;
  • A forum for researchers to develop collaborative multi-centre research proposals;
  • A means of disseminating important research findings;
  • A platform for developing the skills of health professionals and researchers;
  • A vehicle to drive development of effective collaborative networks within and between countries
  • An opportunity for supported professional development of researchers, healthcare professionals and other collaborators;
  • An effective means of addressing inequities in research and professional development
  • Global leadership in prison research.

WEPHREN stakeholders and members



WEPHREN is funded by Public Health England, which hosts the UK Collaborating Centre for Health in Prisons Programme led by the WHO Europe Regional Office. It is the only Health in Prisons Programme run by the WHO and more information can be found at http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-determinants/prisons-and-health

The work of WEPHREN is guided by a Steering Committee made up from members of the  WHO Health in Prisons Programme Steering Group and elected members from outside of the WHO Europe Region. These experts in the field meet once a quarter to review the delivery plan for WEPHREN and provide advice and support to the WHO UK Collaborating Centre in delivering the objectives. 

The WEPHREN Steering Committee is currently chaired by Dagmar Heidrich, a senior scientific analyst at the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Her field of work is 'health and social responses' to drug use, including in prisons and other detention settings.


Members of the Steering Committee are listed below.



Dagmar Hedrich


Linda Montanari


Carole Dromer

International Committee for the Red Cross

Roberto Monarca

Health without Barriers, Italy

Juma Khudonazarov

Royal College of General Practitioners/Central Asian projects

Senia Rosales-Klintz and Erika Duffell

European Centre for Disease Control

Heino Stöver

Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences

José Manuel Arroyo Cobo

Ministry of Justice, Spain

Antti-Jussi Ämmälä

Ministry of Health, Finland

Lesley Graham

Chair of UK and Ireland Research Group

Carina Ferreira-Borges


Carlos Magno Neves

University of Brazil

Stuart Kinner

Murdoch Children's Research Institute & University of Melbourne

Louise Southalan

Mental Health Commission, Western Australia

Frederick Altice

Yale University

Éamonn O’Moore

WHO UK Collaborating Centre

Emma Plugge

WHO UK Collaborating Centre/University of Oxford

Sunita Stürup-Toft

WHO UK Collaborating Centre


In order to deliver this network, a series of priority outcomes or deliverables have been agreed on for 2017-18. 

These 7 priorities are:

1. Development of the WEPHREN Steering Group to include global representation

2. Continued development of the WEPHREN web platform

3. Engagement with stakeholders globally

4. Agreement of research and professional development priorities globally

5. Development of at least one multi-centre international research project (& team)

6. Delivery of a professional development learning resource

7. Development of a 3 year plan and vision 

If you have any comments on this then please contact: WEPHREN@phe.gov.uk