Across Europe, countries face a range of prison-related challenges:
- some facilities currently house up to twice as many prisoners as they were designed for;
- slow legislative processes cause severe bottlenecks at pre-trial detention centres;
- small prisons cannot afford to employ professional health care services; and
- HIV is a constant and growing threat to the prison environment.
Despite their differences, countries can learn from one another, and use experiences gained elsewhere to address their own needs. Introducing polices that are known to be effective can make the difference between creating a supportive environment for this vulnerable group of people or simply warehousing them.
WHO country work
For every biennium, countries decide in which areas they would to like work with the WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) and record the arrangements in biennial collaborative agreements (BCAs).