European Network of Forensic Physicians and Psychiatrists
3rd work meeting, Paris, 30 March 2017
The French National Research Agency (NRA) has offered the opportunity to obtain specific funding dedicated to the creation of networks that would aim to elaborate an International research project in 2017. In this respect, a European project of forensic physicians and psychiatrists has been funded by the NRA in September 2016, for the purpose of submitting a large network project to the European Work Programme H2020 by August 24, 2017. The direct perspective is the call SEC-21-GM-2016-2017 ‘Pan European Networks of practitioners and other actors in the field of security’ (category a) as a direct perspective
It aims to establish an international network of health professionals who work in police stations and prison, with detainees, with police and prison staff or with victims of violent crimes. Depending on the country, these physicians act as independent practitioners or as members of structured institutional teams. They include forensic physicians, psychiatrists, forensic psychiatrists and psychologists. The communication between the involved practitioners, research activity and scientific publication are scarce, possibly because of the low level of involvement of academic forensic medicine and psychiatry in the fields of police custody and prison. This is a concern for all European countries.
The innovative nature of this project lies in its longitudinal and transversal components. From a longitudinal point of view, the project will participate in the continuity and the coherence of medical interventions from the time of arrest to police cells, detention in prison and release from prison. From a transversal point of view, the project combines somatic and mental health issues related to individuals deprived of liberty – detainees and to those who are on the other side of the bars – police and prison staff.
The project will harmonise the interventions addressing somatic and mental health issues and improve their quality. The network will allow priorities to be identified as regards the domains requiring more standardization among practitioners from the same country and across European countries. The core of the network will focus on forensic physicians and psychiatrists but we intend to establish and include strong connections with other participants, such as academic researchers and independent practitioners in the fields of health and law, patients’ associations, trade unions of police and custody officers, non-govermental organisations, legal experts and associations for the defence of prisoners’ rights.
After the first meetings with initial members of the consortium on December 2 and January 31, we are considering the following work packages: 1) police and prison staff, 2) detainees, 3) victims, 4) post-penal issues and probation system; 5) ethical issues; 6) dissemination of knowledge and training opportunities in European countries.