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Introduction: Together with the Flemish government, the Belgian Prison Service is working on a project to ascertain best practices concerning the care and reception arrangements for prisoners following admission to prison. More specifically, the project is focused on how the immediate personal and welfare needs of the prisoner can be identified and dealt with. To this end it would be useful to hear how other countries approach this task. In Flanders both the Belgian Prison Service and welfare organisations working in the prison have formal responsibilities for the care and reception of prisoners following admission. We’re particularly interested, therefore, to learn if other countries have similar arrangements in place.
After admission, medical staff will deliver a full examination of the individual. Educators, social workers and psychologist will then interview the inmate to get information about needs and personal situation, before being transfered to the suitable unit according to some variables as stated in the Prison Rules. Once in the unit, he/she will be interviewed by some "welcoming comission" usually composed by inmates.How is this task carried out in practice?
As stated previously: 1. Admission in "admission unit". 2. Full medical examination to detect medical needs. 3. Interview delivered by educator, social worker and psychologist to know the individual. They will suggest to the Governor the suitable unit of the prison for that inmate (internal directive 14/2011 addresses this "welcoming"). 4. Transfer to the unit, approved by the Governor. 5. Reception at the unit by prison staff. 6. Practical recommendations made available by "welcoming commitee" of the unit.Is there a protocol which sets out the topics which newly arrived prisoners must always be asked about?
The protocol for the welcoming is the internal directive 14/2011, attached in this e-mail. It fully addresses how to manage first moments after admission, in order to reduce the psychological impact of the situation. It involves actions with foreign inmates, as well as how to decide internal classification of individuals. Internal directive 14/2011.Are there differences in approach between remand and convicted prisoners?
Not really. The main difference lies in the fact that remand prisoners are not found guilty yet by the Court, so some intervention programmes are not available for them. Rest of actions (drug intervention if needed, suicide prevention, school, sport activities, etc.) is absolutely the same.We’d like to learn more about how the following two issues are dealt with following admission to prison:
1. There should be some continuity in that mental health care, provided by NGOs, prison psychologists or even the external resource, allowed to enter prison for that assistance. 2. Links with family are to be kept after incarceration. A wide range of visits is available, including some for children, so these links are usually kept over time. However, there is a certain degree of agreement on the fact that inprisonment damages social and family relationships in a way or another.
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Inmates within the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (SPPS) have the same right to healthcare as other residents living in the country. SPPS has no obligation to provide health care since health care authorities handles this, but with regard to safety and for practical reasons, SPPS provides some open health care at all prisons and detention centers. The care that SPPS provides is at primary care level and some basic psychiatric care. SPPS therefore has its own employees in the area of health care. All detention centers and prisons have a doctor's office. There, one or more nurses are available every day, and the reception works much like a regular health center. In cases where the needs are greater than we can offer help, we turn to the care facilities/hospitals that are outside the detention center/institution.How is this task carried out in practice?
In detention centers and prisons, there are dedicated rooms (medical receptions) that are adapted to handle people who need simpler medical care, examination by a nurse or doctor. General practitioners (doctors) are available at the reception once or twice a week, and a psychiatrist also works at several receptions. If an inmate becomes acutely ill, needs surgery, monitoring or other care that requires a hospital's resources, staff from SPPS accompany them to an ordinary health care institution.Is there a protocol which sets out the topics which newly arrived prisoners must always be asked about?
In connection with the staff's initial conversation with the client (interview when being enrolled) a suicide screening is carried out. (Attached to our answer is a form for this, however only in Swedish.) The staff asks how the inmate feels and how the mental health has been recently. The staff also performs a “suicide screening” and a copy of this form regarding risk factors for suicide is given to the health care/nurse within the prison/detention center. The inmate may provide information about his/hers family, social situation and state of health so that the staff can give the support needed. Shortly after being enrolled, the nurse at the local institution perform an initial health examination and a health declaration is submitted.Are there differences in approach between remand and convicted prisoners?
No there are no big differences.We’d like to learn more about how the following two issues are dealt with following admission to prison:
1/ In the cases where the inmate has an ongoing contact with psychiatry and medical treatment, it is possible to allow it to continue during the prison term. An example of this is drug-assisted treatment for opioid addiction (LARO). For example, a person may be in ongoing treatment and detained. In consultation with the attending physician at the addiction clinic, it is possible to continue to take medication during the time in custody/institution. When it comes to addiction (alcohol, drugs, behavior), there is also the possibility of being offered a place in a treatment program if the inmate wants to work on his/hers addiction problem. SPPS has treatment programs for violence, relationship crimes, sexual crimes, criminality, as well as abuse and addiction. SPPS also have motivational talks for those who are not ready to go into treatment yet. There are group programs, individual programs, programs for men only and women only. SPPS target on: - self control - social skills - conflict resolution - the thought-feeling-action connection - change of habits. 2/ In the investigation (risk-, needs- and receptivity-assessment) and plan made for all clients, it is assessed which inmates that are particularly in need of contact with their family. In order to receive visitors, you must first make an application to the staff. The staff usually investigate if the visitor/phone contact is convicted or suspected of a crime. The visitor/phone contact must also give their consent to contact. If the visitor/phone contact is approved, the inmate may book visits In some cases, a supervised visit may be granted. This means that the visit is supervised by staff or takes place in a room where items cannot be handed over. Visit by child is handled in a separate manner; certain rooms are dedicated for these visits. In the vast majority of prisons there is an opportunity for inmates to join so called parenting groups. These groups are based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and include the areas of parenting that support children's ability to cope with stresses that may arise as a result of the parent's correctional sentence. The purpose of being part of a parent group is that the inmate receives support to contribute to the children's positive development, with the children in focus. The goal is that the inmate will have the opportunity to develop his/hers own role as a parent, gain more knowledge about children's needs and development and strengthen the motivation for a life without crime. A concept called "Bedtime stories from inside" is a way for the inmate as a parent to have contact with their children while being incarcerated. This means that the inmate reads bedtime stories recorded onto a CD which then is send to the child. In this way, many children have had the opportunity to hear their father's or mother's voice before it is time to sleep. This concept can be found in several prisons.
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In the Republic of Latvia, prisoners are dependent on the state during their imprisonment. Prisoners in places of detention shall be provided, at the expense of the State, with living accommodation, meals, utilities and economic services, basic hygiene products, and shall receive State-guaranteed health care to the extent provided for in the regulatory enactments. In the detention facilities of the Republic of Lithuania, the administration of each detention facility is responsible for the immediate provision of the personal and welfare needs of the prisoners upon admission, while the officials who ensure the admission of the prisoners are responsible for the processes that take place during the admission of the prisoners. Once in the reception unit (regardless of their status, whether convicted or remanded), prisoners are familiarised with their rights and obligations, so that they have immediate access to information, including the procedure for parcels and deliveries. It should be noted that, through parcels and money orders, prisoners' relatives or other persons may deliver to prisoners necessary items permitted by the legislation, such as clothing, hygiene products, household appliances, thus enabling prisoners to improve their level of well-being in prison. In addition, during the search and inspection of the belongings of the prisoners in the Reception Unit, the belongings, objects, money, valuables with which the prisoner has arrived in prison are confiscated. In addition, during the search of prisoners, the body of the prisoner is observed, which can be used to judge, for example, the need for sanitary care or a visit by medical staff. The above processes are documented.How is this task carried out in practice?
The prison administration ensures that prisoners who start serving their sentence or are transferred from another prison have the possibility to immediately notify their family or another person of their choice of their presence in the prison by sending a notification (the notification shall be sent at the expense of the prison). If, on the other hand, the foreigner is placed in a place of detention, in this case the right to apply to the diplomatic or consular mission of the State of which he is a national or of which he has his habitual residence shall be explained to him in a language he understands. It should be noted that the procedures in the place of detention of detainees are mostly carried out with the authorization of the processor, such as: the detainee is admitted to the hospital of the medical unit under the instructions of the doctor of the remand prison - with the authorization of the processor; the detainees may have meetings if there is a written indication from the processor; if there is a written indication from the processor, the detainee keeps his previous appearance (for example, hair, moustache and beard) to meet the interests of the investigation.Is there a protocol which sets out the topics which newly arrived prisoners must always be asked about?
Within two months of being placed in a penitentiary institution to begin serving his or her sentence, the convicted person shall undergo an assessment of his or her risks and needs, determining: 1) the convicted person's resocialisation needs (including personal and welfare needs), the degree of risk of antisocial behaviour and re-offending in the custodial institution; 2) the most appropriate means of correction of social behaviour or social rehabilitation and other measures to be implemented during the execution of the sentence and to be included in the re-socialisation plan of the sentenced person.Are there differences in approach between remand and convicted prisoners?
in the LR prisons, the main difference between a convicted person and a detainee is the direction of the trial director (for detainees), otherwise there are no significant differences in the provision of personal and welfare needs. Furthermore, in the situation where a prisoner arrives at the place of detention with visible bodily injuries, the circumstances of the injury are always discussed with the prisoner and the information provided by the prisoner is documented. The prisoner and his/her personal belongings shall always be searched on arrival at the place of detention to prevent prohibited articles and substances from entering the place of detention. In matters relating to the personal and welfare needs of the prisoner, the prisoner may, if necessary, make written or oral applications to the prison administration.We’d like to learn more about how the following two issues are dealt with following admission to prison:
Health care received before imprisonment (including mental health and addiction counselling) is provided in the medical section of the prison or in the Latvian Prison Hospital. If a prisoner requires health care services that cannot be provided in the prison or the Latvian Prison Hospital, he/she shall be transferred to a medical institution outside the prison that provides the relevant services. After release, the prisoner may continue to receive relevant health care services (including mental health counselling, addiction counselling) as necessary, in accordance with the procedure and to the extent established by the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia. Expenses for health care services provided to prisoners in medical institutions outside the place of imprisonment shall be paid by the administration of the place of imprisonment within the scope and in accordance with the procedure established in the normative acts on financing and organisation of health care. In addition, prisoners with addiction problems may participate in addiction reduction activities during their imprisonment (e.g. in meetings organised by Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, etc.). During their sentence, convicts can take part in the addiction reduction programme at the Addiction Centre of Olaine Prison (Latvian Prison Hospital). Prison administrations also provide prisoners with the necessary information about where to turn for support and assistance after release from prison, e.g. the municipal social assistance service. In practice, there is also a process of peer support, in which a volunteer provides support to a person after release from prison. A companion is a volunteer who has completed a companion training programme. By being with the person, the companion supports and encourages them to improve their social skills and take responsible decisions, helps them to deal with practical issues, promotes positive leisure time and helps them to see new opportunities in life.
This is a cooperation between the prison and the Welfare agency NAV, The local city/community of his/hers, the health service etc. The legislation for welfare agencies includes all individuals also inmates. Some inmates are interviewed early after arrival by staff, concerning their welfare needs by the use of the assessment tool, BRIK. Here we get a detailed information about the welfare needs. This information is used for the sentence planning during the whole time of the sentencing inclusive the probation service when early release.How is this task carried out in practice?
By arrival the inmate make a brief dialogue before he or she is given the first cell. Immediate needs are registered. Health issues, security and background information of importance is always registered. The second income interview is done within 72 hours after arrival. In this interview, the inmate is given more detailed information about how the daily living life in prison is. The regulations and the opportunities. The third level of interview is done by the use of the need assessment tool, BRIK. This is aimed for the development- process for the inmate, related to his or her needs. An individual sentencing plan is usually the result where close and open coordination with the different agencies from the ordinary society is included. The prison officer- the contact officer- is supporting the inmate. The “owner“of each plan is the inmate him/herself.Is there a protocol which sets out the topics which newly arrived prisoners must always be asked about?
Yes, a protocol is always written. The interviews are including personal and welfare needs, but the welfare needs are mostly collected and adapted in the BRIK-assessment. We have documents concerning the BRIK- assessment as well as the intake interviews. A larger number of material for staff to be used for this process of intake and the process of collecting information about the welfare needs for each inmate. The University College of Norwegian Correction Service (www.krus.no) Further information can be found in the sites of the Norwegian Correctional Service, www.kriminalomsorg.no.Are there differences in approach between remand and convicted prisoners?
The processes in the approaches between remand and convicted inmates are the same. The processes in the use of the information is more comprehensive with the convicted inmates.We’d like to learn more about how the following two issues are dealt with following admission to prison:
1. The importmodel used in our prison system where the ordinary agencies remain with their responsibility also towards the incarcerated people takes care of the continuation of interventions and information around the individual, no matter where in the society he or she remain. This collaboration between prison service and the other agencies have been and still are challenging to all the agencies, but the Government with the Ministers of Health, Jusitce, Social Welfare and Education have several times made agreements to cooperate for this purpose. This has limited the barriers between the agencies, and contributed to a much better local contact and collaboration. Several central, regional and local agreements are made to facilitate practical issues. The principle of normality and the aim of integration for all released inmates have impact to strong collaboration between agencies. Prison officers are given good education in the field of agencieis collaboration as well as welfare rights, procedures and positive outcomes for the greater society. Inmates have benefits of this competence in the dialouges with staff. 2. The inmates keeps contact with their families through telephone calls and visits from the family. Certain regulations are made for children and their contact with incarcerated parents.
Immediate responsibility is shared between prison staff and healthcare staff. Following arrival into custody each prisoner receives a first night interview in private from a team of dedicated staff who work in reception where all prisoners are received on arrival into custody. The interview allows staff to consider any information received from escort staff about the prisoner, known factors from previous sentences, the national prisoner database (NOMIS) and from the prisoner that may increase risk to themselves and/or others. Any immediate needs identified following a prisoner’s arrival, are addressed by the reception staff or a relevant referral is made to the appropriate department. Prisoners are also interviewed on arrival by a nurse using a health screening tool to identify any immediate physical or mental health concerns and risk to themselves. The nursing staff contact the prisoner’s doctor in the community to check health records and to confirm medication prescriptions. Once confirmed, medication will be written up by a doctor for dispensing, however, this may not always be on a prisoner’s first night. Some prisons provide access to a doctor who can speak to prisoners if there is a need. Others have an on-call doctor. If mental health issues are identified during screening, a referral is made to the mental health team. Some prisons provide prisoners with access to a mental health nurse the day after arrival. Any concerns regarding risk should be handed over to the first night prison staff. If substance misuse is identified, prisoners will then be seen by a substance misuse nurse in reception to assess their immediate needs. This is mainly available in prisons where they receive prisoners direct from courts. To provide support to new arrivals, prisoner peer mentors (trained in the prison) or Listeners (trained by Samaritans) are employed to work in reception. They often provide the new arrivals with a drink, and a hot food and their primary role is to answer any immediate questions, to help ease anxieties about the prison process and to offer specific support. Where there are concerns that a prisoner is at risk of self-harm, the prison service has a case management system in place called Assessment, care in custody teamwork (ACCT). Used to support prisoners at risk to themselves, any member of staff can open an ACCT document which is followed by completion of an immediate action plan, detailing what will be done to support the prisoner in the first 24 hours. This will include observing and talking to them, the frequency of which is set according to the immediate risk identified. An assessment interview is then completed by a trained ACCT assessor to identify risks, how the prisoner is feeling and what protective factors they have in place to reduce harm followed by a case review with 25 hours of opening an ACCT. This is carried out by a case co-ordinator and a member of healthcare staff – the purpose of which is to identify the support to put in place. Prisoners are usually provided with a booklet containing information about what will happen in the first 24 hours in prison and what is available to them. Prisoners are also often offered a range of canteen products like tea, coffee, cordial drinks, confectionary and toiletries to purchase on arrival. Many prisons are now choosing a shop style approach. If prisoners arrive without money, they are given an advance which they pay back over time.How is this task carried out in practice?
Most prisons have an early days in custody or first night unit where all new arrivals are located for their first few days. The purpose of the unit is to help support prisoners during this time when they may be at heightened risk of self-harm or suicide. The combination of a welcoming reception, and a specially designated first night unit, is designed to create an environment that helps to reduce anxiety and support prisoners while staff assess the risk they may present to themselves or others. All prisoners are provided with an induction programme to help them integration into prison life. Induction provides prisoners with essential information and is a multi-disciplinary approach which brings together and co-ordinates the full range of required assessments from other departments. Prisoners are allocated time to see a Chaplaincy team and other departments that can provide advice on the services/support available, complete one to one interviews in private if, for example, mental health or substance misuse needs have been identified or see a prison offender manager (if for example a prisoner has been recalled back to prison). Prisoners are also assessed for their education needs, possible employment and receive an induction to the gym and the library. Information is provided in several key languages for those where English isn’t their spoken language.Is there a protocol which sets out the topics which newly arrived prisoners must always be asked about?
Each prison conducts a first night interview to discuss welfare and personal needs. There is no set national template or protocol for this. A local form will usually be used which sets out the questions about known risk factors and personal needs. Healthcare staff have a set protocol of questions to use in all establishments which is completed on their own electronic system. We are, therefore, unable to share. There are resources that outline effective practice (what works well and should be included in early days processes). Attached is the process for prison service managers to review the early days function and actions to ensure it meets the needs of those entering prison. A first night in prison video is also available and can be shown to prisoners while they are held in the waiting room in reception. It provides basic information about what to expect during the reception process including searching, property and how to contact their friends or family.Are there differences in approach between remand and convicted prisoners?
In general, remand and convicted prisoners receive a similar experience on arrival in reception and first night /early days units. There are, however, differences in entitlements for remand prisoners covering access to spending, visits, and prison letters and there is no requirement to work for those on remand prior to conviction.We’d like to learn more about how the following two issues are dealt with following admission to prison:
Support for mental health needs and addiction and continuity of provision would be linked to the healthcare provider in each prison. Decisions about ongoing treatment, medication and social or mental health needs would be taken after the initial health screening on arrival. Prisoners then receive a second healthcare screening within the first five days of arrival to follow up on their general health. Substance misuse services are available in prisons and prisoners are allocated a case worker who will continue to work with them. Community-based addiction groups are also facilitated by external providers in some prisons. Any prisoners who have social care needs can be assessed by a social care worker employed by the prison or the local authority. If prisoners have aids such as wheelchairs or walking aids at home, arrangements can be made for the family to bring these to the prison. There are also legal visits which are available each weekday morning. Professionals can have face to face visits with prisoners which could include any community-based agency working with the prisoner to continue to support them (e.g., their community care worker). On arrival in reception, prisoners are often given a short free phone call but most prisons advance the prisoners £2 pin credit which they can use to contact family. The prisoners are given a form to complete with all the contact numbers of the people they would like to call and these are uploaded onto their pin account. If prisoners arrive with money, they can order additional pin credit every week . Many prisons now have in-cell telephones. Letters are still made available (one free letter to send every two weeks) and all prisons have access to EMAP ( Email a Prisoner) a secure system for sending in email correspondence. This is paid for by the sender at a nominal cost (40p). See link: Email a Prisoner - the hassle free way to keep in touch Prisoners can have social visits with the families either face to face or by video call and the latter can be booked by families online. Enhanced status prisoners (well behaved) receive an additional visit each month. Prisons also have family days where prisoners’ children can spend the day with their parents, do a range of activities and receive a meal. Another initiative is the homework club where children visit in the evening and their parents can help them with their homework. Prisoner voicemail can also help families stay in contact. Available in some prisons, prisoners can receive and reply to voicemails left by approved callers using the existing PIN phones. Some of the benefits of this service are daily communication with families without needing to call at a specific time and reduced anxiety for prisoners and families when a call is missed. Voice messages are quicker and more personal, allowing the prisoner to feel closer to their family’s life. Accounts can only be activated by a family member or friend outside the prison and prisoners can only leave messages in reply to messages they have received. Where prisoners are at risk of suicide /self -harm and are being supported by an ACCT document, it is good practice for families to be invited to contribute to the multi-disciplinary case reviews to help identify how the prisoners should be supported. The families can be invited to attend these reviews in person or by telephone. Prisoners in lower category prisons are also able to apply for resettlement day release or overnight release. This is subject to risk assessments and involves input from the probation service and the police. Below is the link for the Early Days policy which outlines how prisons are expected to manage the early days process https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/889890/psi-07-2015-pi-06-2015-early-days-custody.pdf