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4th December 2017 • comment

Active case finding is a key prevention measure to promote early diagnosis, treatment and to prevent further disease transmission. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) have performed a systematic review of the published and grey literature on active case finding in prison settings.

1st December 2017 • comment
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This publication sheds light on the situation of drug users among criminal justice populations and corresponding health care responses in nine countries in Eastern and South-East Europe and Kosovo. 

25th September 2017 • comment

This article in the WHO Public Health Panorama publication outlines WEPHREN's ambitions in supporting capacity building, including professional development for those working in a prison healthcare setting.

12th September 2017 • comment

This research report bears powerful witness to the harsh impact on women and their children of the short custodial sentences too often meted out in the name of justice. It draws attention to the ripple effects of imprisoning mothers, and the turbulence it causes in the lives of their families. 

9th August 2017 • comment

England's drug strategy 2017

by Editorial team

England has launched a new drug strategy, to reduce illicit drug use and increase the rate of individuals recovering from drug dependence. There is specific mention of health and justice issues which may be of particular interest.

9th August 2017 • comment

This paper considers how maternal emotions and the maternal role are assembled and challenged through carceral space, and more specifically, how mothers themselves assimilate this experience whilst navigating motherhood post incarceration.

9th August 2017 • comment

Despite global reductions in HIV incidence and mortality, the 15 UNAIDS-designated countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) that gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 constitute the only region where both continue to rise. HIV transmission in EECA is fuelled primarily by injection of opioids, with harsh criminalisation of drug use that has resulted in extraordinarily high levels of incarceration. Consequently, people who inject drugs, including those with HIV, hepatitis C virus, and tuberculosis, are concentrated within prisons. Evidence-based primary and secondary prevention of HIV using opioid agonist therapies such as methadone and buprenorphine is available in prisons in only a handful of EECA countries (methadone or buprenorphine in five countries and needle and syringe programmes in three countries), with none of them meeting recommended coverage levels. Similarly, antiretroviral therapy coverage, especially among people who inject drugs, is markedly under-scaled. Russia completely bans opioid agonist therapies and does not support needle and syringe programmes—with neither available in prisons—despite the country's high incarceration rate and having the largest burden of people with HIV who inject drugs in the region.

17th September 2016 • comment

SETTING: We conducted a systematic review of literatures on the prevalence and incidence of latent tuberculosis infection in correctional settings, with the aim of offering one of the resources to guide establishment of policies on screening for and treating LTBI among prisoners in Japan. OBJECTIVE: Using the keywords "latent tuberculosis AND (prison OR jail OR correctional)" and "tuberculosis infection AND (prison OR jail OR correctional)", we conducted a systematic review of relevant literatures on PubMed and secondary searches from the reference list of primary sources. We limited our search to those original articles published since 1980, and in English.

1st April 2016 • comment

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are increasingly viewed as a global health crisis, demonstrated by an escalating prevalence of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory disease. The four key modifiable risk factors identified for NCDs are smoking, alcohol, inadequate physical activity, and unhealthy diet. In 2008, 36 million of 57 million deaths worldwide were attributable to NCDs. Of these, 14 million were attributable to unhealthy diet, 3 million to insufficient physical activity, and 3 million to obesity

20th April 2012 • comment

Tobacco-smoking prevalence has been decreasing in many high-income countries, but not in prison. We provide a summary of recent data on smoking in prison (United States, Australia, and Europe), and discuss examples of implemented policies for responding to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), their health, humanitarian, and ethical aspects. We gathered data through a systematic literature review, and added the authors’ ongoing experience in the implementation of smoking policies outside and inside prisons in Australia and Europe. Detainees’ smoking prevalence varies between 64 per cent and 91.8 per cent, and can be more than three times as high as in the general population. 

16th December 2010 • comment

Suicide rates in prisoners are considerably higher than in the general population, both in the United States and the United Kingdom and internationally. In the United States, the rate of suicide in jails is estimated to be 8 times higher than in the general population, and in England and Wales, the age-standardized rate of suicide among all male prisoners is 5 times higher than in the general population - a proportionate excess that has been increasing since 1978. In addition, these rates remain high after leaving prison - a recent study of all inmates released in 1 U.S state found an increased suicide risk 3- to 4- fold higher than in the general population after adjustment for age, sex, and race.

1st November 2008 • comment

Adolescents younger than 19 years constitute 5% of all those detained in custody in Western countries, including about 100,000 individuals in the United States. They are usually detained in separate closed facilities or prisons. High prevalence of both undiagnosed and untreated physical and mental health problems have been reported, with current mental disorders estimated to affect 40% to 70% of the adolescents who come into contact with the justice system. Deliberate self-harm and repeat offending are common,and some of these disorders, such as substance misuse and conduct disorder, are risk factors for criminal recidivism. In the United States and the United Kingdom, it has been argued that there is insufficient screening for mental disorders, that sentencing does not account for mental health issues, and that custodial and secure facilities lack qualified staff and appropriate treatment.

1st September 2008 • comment

High prevalence of HIV infection and the over-representation of injecting drug users (IDUs) in prisons combined with HIV risk behaviour create a crucial public-health issue for correctional institutions and, at a broader level, the communities in which they are situated. However, data relevant to this problem are limited and difficult to access. We reviewed imprisonment, HIV prevalence, and the proportion of prisoners who are IDUs in 152 low-income and middle-income countries. Information on imprisonment was obtained for 142 countries. Imprisonment rates ranged from 23 per 100 000 population in Burkina Faso to 532 per 100 000 in Belarus and Russia. Information on HIV prevalence in prisons was found for 75 countries.

1st January 2007 • comment