MenACE – Mental Health, Aging and palliative care in European prisons
Update 15th March 2017
How are the needs of the mentally disordered, old and terminally ill prisoners addressed in European prisons?
This is one of the main questions that MenACE partnership addresses under Output 1- State of the Art and Best Practices Review.
The project team started in November 2016 by reviewing the literature on mental illness, older inmates and terminally/severely ill inmates. This theoretical work led the project partners to enhance its understanding and awareness about the management of older inmates, the essential elements and specificity of an effective palliative care program in prisons, as well as the role played by depression and other common mental health disorders on inmates’ self-harm and suicide.
Considering the newness of the topic addressed by the project and in order to benefit from the potential of the partnership, a questionnaire was developed under the first intellectual output of the project, which foresees a State of the Art and Best Practices Review. This data collection instrument aims to gather approaches, lessons learned and practices in the field of mental healthcare and geriatrics in European prison services. The collected data will be further analysed, providing a richer understanding of the policies (and its practical implications) among the surveyed countries. The analysis of the data will benefit from the number of countries filling the questionnaire.
How data will be collected?
The data will be collected across the project partners, as well as other participants reached in dissemination activities and willing to participate. In each country, partners will provide statistical data as well as information about policies that determine how these populations – the older, the mentally ill and the ones who need palliative care – and their specific needs are addressed by the countries’ prison systems.
A quantitative analysis will then be performed, and descriptive statistics will be available, comparing countries’ data. Regarding policies, a qualitative analysis will be performed in order to identify main themes and approaches of countries’ policy. At the end, a report will be produced and become available online. Therefore, all countries that answer to the questionnaire can profit from the followed comparative approach and the best practices that will be identified.
If you would like to contribute to the project by filling the questionnaire, please get in touch with the project coordinator Andreea Nitoiu at email@example.com no later than 2nd June 2017. Filling section E of the questionnaire is not mandatory.
Worldwide more than 10.35 million people are currently being held in penal institutions and the global prison population rate is increasing. Mental illness is especially prevalent in prison populations, by far exceeding the rate of mental disorders in the general population. These mental health issues are exacerbated with age: over 20% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental or neurological disorder (WHO, 2015). As the world’s population ages rapidly, so too the number of the elderly in jails and prisons is increasing at an exponential rate: at a rate 3 times that of the general prison population.
MenACE project aims to increase the response to mental health disorders within prisons and the quality of palliative and end of life care services provided by enhancing the competences of management and frontline staff to address prisoners’ mental health needs and the special needs of older prisoners.
Mission & Objectives
Mental health, Aging and palliative care in European prisons (MenACE) Project aims to increase the response to mental health disorders within prisons and the quality of palliative and life care services provided by enhancing the competences of management and frontline staff to address prisoners’ mental health needs and the special needs of older prisoners. Specific goals include:
- To develop pedagogical materials and learning processes that support the training of staff and the training of trainers in the field of mental healthcare and geriatrics in prisons;
- To develop and pilot a “train the trainer” course for prison professionals (blended learning) so that they can be able to train continuously their colleagues on metal healthcare and the needs of older prisoners;
- To develop and pilot a training course targeting first line prison administrators and first line prison staff on basic mental health and age-related heath issues;
- To develop and pilot a training course targeting first line prison staff on the recognition and prevention of suicides;
- To raise the awareness of prison staff, prisoners and their families with information and educational materials about mental problems, and the risk of suicide and self-harm (including awareness of times of risk: when prisoners may be at risk of particular distress and anxiety).
- To enhance cooperation with community health care providers and NGO’S through referral of mentally ill inmates to local or regional mental health care organisations to ensure access to that can provide further evaluation and treatment after incarceration or during community probation measures.
- To raise the awareness of policy makers and judicial staff (namely judges and prosecutors) to the problem of mental health disorders, palliative and end of life care and aging and its consequences to prison systems.
In detail, the expected results are an enhanced prison human capital skilled to cope with emerging and challenging issues in prison healthcare, namely:
- An enhanced capacity of staff to recognize and manage mental health disorders;
- An improved capacity of staff to identify prisoners at risk of particular distress and anxiety (awareness of suicide and/or self-harm risk;
- A greater awareness of age-related needs and challenges regarding social rehabilitation of older inmates;
- An improved healthcare and palliative care in the targeted prisons;
- A beneficial impact on the quality of life prisoners;
- An improved diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders and age-related diseases in correctional settings;
- Raise awareness among policy makers about these important challenges that are part of the public health.
Project Duration: November 2016 –November 2018
Lead Partner: HOSPICE Casa Sperantei, Romania
Project Partners: HELSE BERRGEN HF* HAUKELAND UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL, Norway; ADMINISTRATIA NATIONALA A PENITENCIARELOR, Romania; European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (EuroPris), Netherlands; QUALIFY JUST – IT SOLUTIONS AND CONSULTING LDA, Portugal; DE FEDERALE OVERHEIDSDIENST JUSTITIE – LE SERVICE PUBLIC FEDERAL JUSTICE, Belgium; Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal; Direção-Geral de Reinserção Social e Serviços Prisionais, Portugal