The AWARE project brings forward as a solution a training programme for prison staff, probation services, civil society organizations and volunteers who work with former prisoners.
We are taking a holistic approach to reduce stigmata about mental health problems, raise awareness of mental health in the criminal justice system and thus contribute to the social integration of prisoners on release. This includes facilitating the exchange of knowledge by establishing a network through staff training and online communities of practice.
To provide impulses for the development of further training, we have reviewed existing scientific and practical findings on mental health in the criminal justice system and gathered them in a state-of-the-art report. Also, to capture the service user voice and analyse needs, we asked prisoners and staff in 5 EU-countries about mental health in prison. Both the state of the art analysis and research report are available on the project website http://www.aware-project.org/
The AWARE training methodology combines both the perspective of correctional justice staff and that of prisoners, aiming thus to ensure that proposed training meets the needs of staff in order to provide them with the most effective support in their work.