The project aims to contribute to the development of more effective, inclusive and accessible HIV/AIDS (and other drug-related infections) and drug prevention, policies and services for ‘at-risk’ populations throughout the criminal justice systems of the European Union Member States and accession countries.
The project will contribute to positive changes in legislation, setting up and implementing services, dialogue between different stakeholders in the identification of policies in the area of drugs and HIV/AIDS (and other drug-related infections) in the criminal justice system. The CONNECTIONS project is particularly relevant as it is clear that appropriate health-driven responses cannot be implemented in isolation but require the concerted action of a plurality of actors within the criminal justice system. These changes will be fostered by the
project’s activities, but are also dependant on further initiatives and actions to be implemented at regional, national and EU levels.
The project adopts a five-strand approach to developing an integrated response to address the risks and challenges posed by HIV/AIDS (and other drug-related infections), drug use and related health issues within the European criminal justice systems. The work will be undertaken through nine work packages designed to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and to develop models of good practice for implementation through:
(1) direct work with practitioners;
(2) research studies;
(3) evidence-based capacity building;
(4) multi-sector dialogue across the criminal justice systems and dissemination of information at regional, national and EU levels;
(5) policy development at national, regional and EU levels.
The project aims to expose a wide range of actors involved in determining and providing healthcare assistance to drug users in prison — particularly prison administrations and criminal justice agencies including the police and the judiciary — to evidence and good practice and assist them in the process of change. The project will facilitate the introduction and promotion — at national and European level — of more effective, comprehensive, evidence-based ‘models of interventions’ to respond to drugs and infections in the criminal justice system, in accordance to public health and human rights based approaches and priorities.