EU-ACT has organised video conferences with specialists from Spanish and Ukrainian institutions
EU-ACT, a European Union-funded project to combat drugs and organised crime, has held an online workshop within the framework of the “Rehabilitation programme for prisoners with mental and behavioural disorders due to the use of psychoactive substances for the State Executive Service of Ukraine”.
Experts from the General Secretariat of Penitentiary Institutions of the Ministry of the Interior of Spain wrote an administration and evaluation manual that was discussed with the Ukrainian Ministry of Health during a Webinar. The activity took place as part of the FIIAPP-managed programme EU-ACT.
The rehabilitation programme within which the video conferences take place is running in five prisons in Ukraine with different inmate profiles, including a women’s prison and a prison for inmates serving life sentences.
The drugs to which inmates are addicted also vary, meaning that the programme has had to be adapted. For example, in one of the prisons, located in the city of Bucha, it has been carried out in conjunction with methadone opioid substitution therapy (OST).
According to José Manuel Colodrás, EU-Act coordinator in Ukraine, ‘one of the main problems facing the programme is motivation and the pressure of the “prison subculture”’. That is why, according to Colodrás, the fact that the programme is still running in all the prisons where it has been launched “is a huge achievement and the result of the excellent programme adapted to the Ukrainian situation by Spanish and Ukrainian experts.”
The Chernihiv women’s prison also started the programme on its own initiative after officers participated in one of the two courses held in Ukraine. “Some of the officials attended a training session for trainers and started the programme in their prison without any direct support from the EU specialists,” said Colodrás.