Assessment of the psychological and psychiatric assistance in the Ukrainian penitentiary centers


EU-ACT has undertaken the Assessment of the psychological and psychiatric assistance in the Ukrainian penitentiary centers in collaboration with the Ukrainian State Criminal Executive Service (SCES) with the help of a task group composed by Ukrainian professionals and EU-ACT experts, with extensive experience on drug treatment in prison settings.

The Ukrainian State Criminal Executive Service (SCES) is currently involved in a process of modernization and reorientation of the institutional goals towards a rehabilitation approach.

Drug treatment programs are a basic component of most correctional systems, due to the high prevalence of addictive behaviors among prison inmates and the strong criminogenic power of drug use. Modern penitentiary systems manage populations of a significant size. Prison inmates, both males and females are special individuals with severe vulnerabilities in different areas of their personalities. Among other problems, the population of incarcerated offenders tend to present a history of substance use and mental disorder.  Therefore, prison systems must deal with the enforcement of prison sentences of individuals with specific treatment needs. To cope with these needs is a matter of public health and promotes a humane enforcement of the prison sentences.

On January 22nd, 2018 an initial meeting was held in Kiev at the Ministry of Justice with Mr. Vasyliev Serhii, Head of Medical Department, Ms. Tetiana Haborets, Medical Department, Ms. Iryna Savstska, Probation department, Mr. Oleh Duka Staff training SCES and Yana Boranova, president of the NGO Union “Golden Age of Ukraine” focused on the following topics:

  • Reforming the health care system of State Criminal Executive Service (SCES) of Ukraine.
  • Organization of providing medical treatment to drug addicts in institutions of SCES of Ukraine
  • Provision of psychological treatment in penitentiary facilities
  • Training activities for treatment, healthcare and security officers
  • Cooperation of penitentiary facilities with NGOs in terms of resocialization of convicts and provision of psychological treatment

Thanks to the deposition of the Ministry of Justice the task group, was invited to visit three correctional centers in which interviews and field work were carried out:

  • Chernihiv correctional colony Nº 44
  • Vilnia correctional colony Nº 20 (Psychiatric Hospital for convicts)
  • Bila Tserkva correctional colony Nº 35 (Men's prison)

To finalize an open panel discussion took place on January 26th, with partners from Ministry of Justice and Ministry of health was presented to discuss preliminary conclusions and recommendations. Also, a presentation of an overview of programs currently implemented in the Spanish Prison Service was given by Oscar Herrero, the EU-ACT expert.