Prison and drugs: exploring social determinants and pathways to drug problem and incarceration

In programme
Thursday, 24 November, 2022 - 16:50 to 18:20
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The structured session aims at discussing the complex interlink between drug problems and incarceration. The studies included in the session present social determinants contributing to both problematic drug use and incarceration from different angles and in different geographical contexts. The session will explore common pathways towards drug problems and incarceration. Key life events in the population of people with prison and drug experience play an important role. The session provides an insight into the issue of prison and drugs from a global perspective (Australia, Europe, North America, United Kingdom) and underlines the common challenges. The short presentations are followed by a 30 minutes discussion on common pathways to problematic drug use and incarceration and lessons learnt for policy and practice. The six short presentations (10’ each) will touch on different, although interlinked aspects, of the drug and prison issue: 1.the first presentation will provide an overview of the problem, discussing the link between drugs and crime, with consideration of international drug policy and the effectiveness of prison-based treatments;; 2.the second will describe the characteristics of people in prison and their drug use before and after incarceration in four European countries; 3.the third will discuss recidivism and reincarceration among an Australian cohort of men who inject drugs; 4.the fourth will discuss the adverse childhood experiences that play a significant role in the development of drug problems and incarceration; 5.the fifth will focus on the gender specific pathways of women with drug problems who are incarcerated in two female prisons in Italy and Portugal; 6.the sixth presentation is a personal testimony of the complex pathways leading to incarceration and drugs. It is based on a published biography of Mark Johnson, the founder of Uservoice.