• The President chairs all regular and extraordinary meetings of the Executive Board, the Board of Directors and the General Assembly

• Makes comments and suggestions to the decisions and activities of HWB’s Board of Directors. He/she can also promote new projects which he/she considers particularly significant for the Federation’s objectives.

• In case of absence, the President is replaced by the Vice-President.


One member from each National Society, designated to act on its behalf.

• Meets at least once a year, and at the European Federation Congress.

• Functions:

  1. establishes policy of HWB;
  2. elects the Executive Board;
  3. approves reports concerning HWB’s activities and makes recommendations thereto;
  4. nominates delegates for official meetings.


It includes President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Past President.

The Executive Board is elected by the Board of Directors, each HWB regular member has to nominate a candidate and it is elected every two years by the Board of Directors.

Executive Board specific duties:

  • general supervision of the meetings and keep the minutes.
  • distributes copies of the minutes to each of the Board members, to the National Societies and to the individual members.
  • updates HWB membership contact lists.
  • carries out the membership fees duty collection
  • general supervision of the financial affairs of the HWB
  • custodian of all funds – keeps the financial records updated


The Board of Directors can appoint working groups on different issues:

  • infectious diseases,
  • drug and/or alcohol addiction,
  • mental disorders,
  • hygiene,
  • disease prevention,
  • human rights.

Each Working Group is composed of experts in the referred field. It reports regularly its activities and researches to HWB.


It meets at least every three years, normally at the Congress of the European Federation. It is open to all members and its functions are: discuss important topics, approve new projects, discuss about ongoing projects, approve byelaws and changes within HWB.




Roberto Monarca works as Consultant for HIV/ AIDS and Infectious Diseases for AIDS centre, Belcolle Hospital, Viterbo and is Consultant for Infectious Diseases and member of the Medical Staff of Viterbo Prison. He is the Scientific Director of SIMSPe (the Italian Society of Prison Health) and SIMSPe Training School. In 2012 he has been appointed as President of the European Conference on Infectious Diseases, Human Rights and Harm Reduction Policies in Prison. He counts more than 30 publications in national and international journals on medicine, infectious diseases and penitentiary medicine and he is in charge of the management and content coordinator on many scientific meetings, training and workshops. Through his constant support it was possible to develop the idea of an European network for Prison Health and finally establish HWBs.

A - Z

Regular Members


The French Association of Health Professionals Exercising in Prison (APSEP) was founded in 1997 in the framework of the 1st National Congress of UCSA organized in Nantes, following the creation of the Consulting and Ambulatory Care Units UCSA (18 January 1994 Law). The APSEP association aims to ensure and promote, among prison health personnel, information exchange, reflections on problems related with their day-to-day work and lifelong learning and training activities.

Involved in several working groups organized by the Ministry of Health and Justice, the APSEP carries out and promotes many public auditions at the Ministry of Health, at the Chancellery Office of the French National Assembly President, at the Senate and at the National Council of Ethics, concerning health in prison and related issues. The Association, keen and active on lifelong learning and education, established in 2008 the University Decree on "Public Health in Prison Life".


Dienst Justitiёle Inrichtingen is the Dutch National Agency for Correctional Institutions. It is composed of 77 Institutions, for different categories of inmates and patients, including prisons, correctional institutions for juvenile offenders, forensic psychiatric centers, and detention and removal centers, as well as 66 medical health care services for detainees in need of treatment. The Health Care Department of DJI is responsible for prison health in Netherlands, and provides individual advising, interruption of detention on medical grounds, mediation of complaints by detainees, psychiatric care in prison (if needed), help to health care workers in the field. The Department also offers education and training programs for nurses and doctors working in the field of prison health.


I.Care - Laboratoire d'innovation en Santé & Milieux Fermés was established in Belgium in november 2015.

I.Care’s purpose is to actively contribute to improving global support and care (medical and psychosocial), tackle continuity of care during incarceration and upon transfer or release, and develop health promotion in prisons.

In Belgium, prison health care still pertains to the Ministry of Justice - which has consequences (priority given to security, risk of loyalty conflict for health professionals, isolation of medical services, etc.). Moreover, social security rights are suspended during detention and upon the prisoner’s release, these rights will take a few weeks before being re-established. This is not without consequence for the continuity of care and the reintegration of those concerned.

Although there are associations dedicated to promoting health in prisons, or active in social and psychological monitoring of inmates, so far no association is devoted to health care in closed environments as a whole, including somatic health care.

Alarmed by such a major public health care issue, doctors working in various prisons and professionals from the community sector have decided to combine their skills to create I.Care.

Beyond prison walls, I.Care has the ambition to expand its work to all places of deprivation of liberty (closed centres, IPPJ (public institutions for youth protection), etc ...)

I.Care wishes to pursue the following missions:

  • Implementation of innovative projects
  • Creation of a network of health care, coordination of projects by local operators, implementation of training programmes for professionals working in prisons.
  • Recommendations intended to political powers, studies and research activities, communication for the specialized sector and the public opinion.

The association will pay special attention in integrating the target audience in the design of its projects (focus groups, participatory projects, etc.).


The National Association for Prison Dentistry UK (NAPDUK) was founded in 2009, is composed of 150 members of the dental team and includes among its activities an Annual Scientific Conference, regional study groups, work with Public Health England and National Offender Management Service (NOMS), and research and publications – including WHO prison health guidelines. Its aim is providing information to support and advise prison dental professionals, a forum for the exchange of ideas, and continuing education and training as well as the sharing of best practice, in order to promote a multidisciplinary approach to the inmates’ health conditions, to create supportive environments and collaborative research, and to include oral health and dental teams in prison healthcare.


Since its foundation in 1997, the Spanish Society for Prison Health (SESP) gathers together physicians, nurses and other health care professionals working in Spanish prisons. Around one third of the thousand health care professionals working in Spanish prisons, are currently members of the SESP.

Its main goal is to improve the general prison health care in the Spain. This is achieved by performing several educational activities aimed at updating health care professionals working in prisons on issues regarding the most important pathologies.

The SESP publishes a scientific journal that is indexed in the MedLine on a quarterly basis and contributes in specialized magazines and newspapers with articles on Prison Health and related intervention environment.

The Spanish Society has 4 working groups on: Infectious Diseases, Mental Health in Prison, Nursing and International Relations. These groups collaborate with several scientific and government organisations, developing acting protocols, scientific studies, publications etc.


The Italian Society for Prison Medicine and Health Society (SIMSPe-Onlus) is a scientific national-based organization whose objectives are addressed to the assistance, medicine and health-care in prison, considered as a field of study, research and theoretical-practical education. Composed by 300 members, the organization pursues the lifelong learning and training of medical personnel dealing with health in prison. Together they promote the creation of a Specialized Penitentiary Health School, in order to prepare physicians to face health problems which daily affect inmates.

In 2013 the SIMSPe was the co-promoter of the funded EU Project REHAB- Removing prison HeAlth Barriers in the framework of the Grundtvig LLP Programme, and in 2014 it was awarded for the project PrHep-EU (Prison Hepatitis C in Europe) – Diagnosis and Management in Chronic Hepatitis C in inmate patients: a European working model, in the framework of the goSHAPE Programme launched by Gilead Sciences Ltd.