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Building healthier prisons in Ireland

Sunday 17 November 2013

A dynamic Speakers' Corner at the Humanitarian Village saw Donal Forde, Secretary General of Irish Red Cross, outline a program which has transformed health and culture in Irish prisons.

It began four years ago as a community-based peer-to-peer approach, where prisoners are trained to deliver health, hygiene and first aid messages. It proved highly successful in reaching a traditionally-hard-to-reach group and has broadened to take in fitness, quitting smoking, HIV and other health testing.

The most outstanding result is around violence, where there's been a 50% drop in assaults on prisoners, and a 90% drop on assaults with weapons.

Mr Forde said the whole culture within prisons has transformed. Inmates now are more concerned about each other, and there's a collective effort to build a better community.

You can find out more about the everyday work the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement does around the world, at the Humanitarian Village in Sydney.