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Training School 2016 – Modern forensic in-patient facility design standards

The next upcoming training school for the IS1302 COST Action will primarily focus on how to develop modern forensic in-patient facilities. How society defines its basic ethical principles changes in time, and it is a matter of continual ethical, clinical and legal debate where the line between security and therapy is drawn at any given time. By entering into an open, international discussion with clinicians, architects, policy-makers and medico-legal authorities this training school aims to develop our services to a better standard by focusing on how modern forensic facilities should be designed.

Experts from EU countries will share their experiences of developing (long-stay) forensic units and the challenges associated with it. The three day training school will be held between 21-23 September 2016 and participants can choose to soak into the Finnish culture over the following weekend.

Helsinki2

 Photo credit: Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho via Source / CC BY

The programme involves lectures, videos, discussions anddebates in small groups. The speakers are international experts in the field of forensic psychiatry and mental health and bring with them a wealth of experience (speakers list). The training school will cover basic, internationally applicable standards for forensic psychiatric facilities and how to integrate concepts of therapy and security.

Please find here a time-table for the 3 day programme.

For further information and application please click here.

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Training School 2016 – Modern forensic in-patient facility design standards

What is the training school about?

Forensic psychiatric care is aimed at improving mental health and reducing the risk of recidivism of mentally disordered offenders, within the least restrictive setting possible and with a view to community reintegration, whilst simultaneously maintaining a secure treatment environment. However, the way the services are defined and governed across Europe differ significantly: some countries have issued detailed criteria for different levels of secure care, whereas in other countries security is much more loosely defined and has essentially developed over time along with clinical practices. Also, different historical factors have dictated that in some countries there are secure units that operate in densely populated urban areas, whereas in some countries forensic facilities have been placed further from the surrounding communities.

The rationale behind developing urban forensic services is that this can provide various forms of rehabilitative stimuli not as easily accessible in a more rural environment. However, issues concerning the safety of both the patients themselves and their environment merit particular planning in a more centrally placed location. Drugs, alcohol and antisocial interaction are all factors to take into consideration. A sensitive balance between providing care and security is vital for a well-functioning urban forensic service. Buildings must be used to facilitate the treatment model and care pathway, and to promote community engagement and recovery. Maintaining a high standard in building materials and continually improving the design of the environment will help to improve outcomes for patients. The building should help to ensure comfortable, secure surroundings for patients many of whom are detained for prolonged periods of time.

(more…)

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