How can we expand prison peer programmes? Lessons from England and ideas for future models

Author: Rachel Halford, Sean Cox, Jonathan van der Veen, Julia Sheehan, Rachel Halford, Leila Reid

Theme: Models of Care Year: 2023

Background and aims:
The benefits of peer-led HCV services are well evidenced, as are peer models in prisons. HCV prison peer (PP) models have been implemented in relatively few countries however. One exception is in England; teams of paid and volunteer peers work in almost every adult prison. 

Learning objectives:
-How PP models do and could work
-What barriers and facilitators exist; how barriers have been overcome
-What prison peers can achieve
-How these can be introduced in different contexts

Description of workshop:

This workshop aims to share experience of establishing a highly successful PP programme, catalyze debate around the potential for these, and increase momentum in implementing global PP models. The international participation at INHSU provides a unique opportunity to explore this and generate concrete recommendations for change. The workshop will be of interest to many delegates including prisons, health, academic and NGO sectors. 

Methods and format:

The workshop will open with three brief presentations. Delegates will be introduced to the English model by each key partner: prison staff, prison peers, and NHS leadership. 

Participants will be seated in small groups with a speaker/facilitator. Facilitators will be a mix of prison peers, prison clinicians, and prison staff.   

Table discussions will run in three sessions, with feedback following each session. Key questions:
-What is the scope of these programmes: what activities/roles could prison peers take on, and how should peers be trained, supported, remunerated? 
-What are the barriers and facilitators to introducing peer models in different contexts?
-What evidence, support or infrastructure is needed to help colleagues implement these models?

Delegates will be encouraged to reflect on experiences from their own countries and expertise. Table discussions and feedback will be recorded. The workshop will be written up for publication. 
Number of delegates: 20-75″

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