New French health strategy for people in the criminal justice system published

The new French health strategy for people in the criminal justice system was published in April 2017, setting out a framework for prison health involving intersectoral collaboration between the health and justice systems, under the leadership of the Ministry of Health.

The strategy, called the French Health Strategy of Persons in the Hands of Justice, organizes the management of health in the criminal justice system into three levels. The first level is an interministerial health and justice board, which acts as a policy reference body to follow up on the strategy. The second level is a monitoring committee, chaired by the director general for health, and comprises the central directorates of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice and representation from regional agencies, interregional prison service offices, juvenile offender offices and organizations representing civil society. The committee is informed by the work of thematic working groups and will monitor the overall progress of the implementation of the strategy. The third level is an interministerial project team with the responsibility for monitoring the operational implementation of the strategy, which reports to the monitoring committee.

Working groups for the implementation of the strategy are coordinated under the following themes: improving health and the health status of detainees, health promotion, early detection and screening, access to and continuity of care, and good professional practices.

Using a sustainable and constructive health democracy approach, and based on monitoring and evaluation of the actions, necessary changes in the operational implementation of this health strategy will be made to improve the health of people in the criminal justice system.