Prisons and health

At any given time, over 2 million people are imprisoned in penal institutions in Europe. A prison sentence often entails an increased risk of becoming seriously ill or a lost opportunity to recover from an existing illness or dependency. Prisoners who are healthy on entry have a considerable risk of leaving prison with HIV, tuberculosis, a drug problem or poor mental health. Those who enter with a drug or other health-related problem often leave without having received proper medical attention.

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WHO Health in Prisons Programme (HIPP)

WHO established HIPP in 1995 is to support Member States in improving public health by addressing health and health care in prisons, and to facilitate the links between prison health and public health systems at both national and international levels. HIPP has since developed into an international movement to promote health in prison settings.

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Key publications

Prisons and health

This book outlines important suggestions by international experts to improve the health of people in prison and to reduce the risks posed by imprisonment to both health and society.

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In countries

For every biennium, countries decide in which areas they would like to work with the WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) and record the arrangements in biennial collaborative agreements (BCAs).

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