(Ex-)inmates' substance use: a needs assessment based on semi-structured interviews
Background: The present study is part of a research project (PRS-20) that is funded by the European Commission and that occurs in a partnership of five European countries (2020 – 2022). The focus is on (illicit) drug use of detainees and recently released detainees. Generally the aim is to investigate characteristics of use both inside and outside prison and to improve the support of their care needs.
Methods: Semi structured interviews of detainees (n=30) ) in four different Belgian prisons. At the end of a preceding quantitative survey on the characteristics of their substance use, detained (formal) drug users were invited to participate for an interview. Ex-detainees (n=10) were recruited through drug treatment services, and harm reduction services. Intermediaries were approached to help to engage recently-released prisoners to participate.
Results: Since this project is still running, at the time of writing this abstract the results of the semi-structured interviews are still preliminary. Results will focus on drug use, prison policy with regard to (illicit) substances and the inmate’s needs for support that targets their well-being and their release from prison. Hereby special attention will go to (physical and mental) health, social life, living environment (inside and outside prison).
Conclusion: Conclusions and recommendations will be available in June.