Paolo Pertica



It is with deep sorrow that we heard of the passing of our colleague and friend Paolo Pertica in October 2019, following a long struggle with mental ill-health. He will be missed by all those who knew him.

In 2004 in recognition of the contribution Paolo had made in his work helping drug users caught up in the criminal justice system, both in the UK and more widely in Europe, this award was established in his name.

He was instrumental in developing the European Network of Drugs and Infections Prevention in Prisons (ENDIPP) and the award was initially made to mark the 10-year anniversary of the network. In addition to ENDIPP, the award has also previously been managed by the International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) and knowledge Action Change (KAC). The Global Public Health Network (GPHN) is now the custodian of the award.

The award is made to someone who, like Paolo, has undertaken work that has contributed significantly to the improvement of knowledge about and assistance for drug users, especially those who are incarcerated.

In memory of Paolo, here he is in 2012 presenting the award at the first CHI conference

Paolo’s family are happy that the award should continue on an annual basis and it is our intention to make the award annually, at the City Health conference.

Aim of the Award
The aim of the award is to recognise innovation and outstanding contributions to public health interventions within the criminal justice context, in relation to drug and alcohol users, which can be shown to have a positive impact for both individual offenders and the community in general.
Eligibility for the Award
The award is open to individuals and organisations throughout the world engaged in work directly with offenders (including advocacy) policy development work, training, or research. The context for the activity might be related to community settings (including work with police, courts and probation services) or within prisons and other places of incarceration.
    Specifically the award panel will consider:
  • The level of innovation in the work/training/research
  • the extent of the evidence base for the work/training/research
  • the public health impact of the work/training/research
  • the scope for knowledge transfer to other locations


Recipients of the Award

2021 Poland

Marzena Ksel

2019 United Kingdom

Ross Coomber

Read more

2018 Moldova

Dumitru Laticevschi

Read more

2017 Australia

Dr Ingrid van Beek AM

Read more

2016 United Kingdom

Dave Marsden
Combat Stress

Read more

2015 Catalunya

Programme on Substance Abuse of the Agència de Salut Pública

Read more

2014 United Kingdom

The National Ugly Mugs Project

Read more

2013 Iran

Dr Mohamad Shahbazi

Read more

2012 Scotland

The Scottish Violence Reduction Unit

Read more


Tijana Pavicevic


Saman Zamani


Marina Goloviznina
(Russian Federation)


Elena Grigoryeva
Paolo Pertica
Paolo worked within a number of drug service providers, managing a wide range of services for drug users, most of who were in prison, or being dealt with within other parts of the criminal justice system. Amongst these organisations was the Prisoners Resource Service, where he was the Service Manager. The work of this pioneering service provided much of the model adopted by HM Prison Service to develop their CARAT services and was seen by colleagues in other countries involved in EDIPP as an effective approach. Paolo travelled extensively to provide consultancy and training for these colleagues and is still held in high esteem by many of them.

Moving away from service delivery and also away from London in 2001 relocating to Blackpool, Paolo latterly worked as a senior manager in the commissioning and strategic development of a range of services, including in the fields of drugs and crime reduction and spending his free time fishing and supporting Blackpool Football Club.

Sadly Paolo passed away in 2019, leaving behind his wife and two children. Together they decided that they would like to see the award continue in his memory and we are delighted to be able to do this.