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Open since late 2014, the Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Ghent (FPC Gent) combines treatment with resocialisation and reintegration. It is a remarkable human project.



The 272 patients at the FPC Gent, all male, have committed crimes resulting from psychological disturbances but do not belong in a conventional prison. They lead a busy life here. It must be said that the aim of the project is to enable them to reintegrate into society. Consequently, Sodexo employees at the FPC Gent work with the patients as far as possible. This means that the patients each have a customised programme, alternating between work and therapy. This gives them the opportunity of joining the Sodexo teams, to help in the kitchen or with the cleaning. These are two programmes organised in full cooperation with the occupational therapists, and they are working very well.
Three patients in the kitchen

At FPC Gent, the hot meals for the patients are prepared by Sodexo away from the centre. They are then reheated in each of the departments, where the patients eat with the care staff on a “table d’hôtes” basis. Indeed, the kitchen on site is intended for the staff. Three patients come to work there every day for three or four hours. Three more come and work there several times a week. They take care of the dish washing and handle internal orders, for example. They prepare the vegetables or season the salads. They also help serve.

Helping them, not judging them

Other patients have the opportunity of joining the site’s cleaning team. After their application has been accepted, they undergo training, specifically in use of the machines, and first work alongside the Sodexo staff before doing the job on their own. They clean the communal areas, the meeting rooms, the corridors and the canteens. But they do not have access to the offices or the treatment rooms. They can work for up to three hours a day. The experience is positive and proves that rehabilitation is possible.

There is no doubt that what FPC Gent has implemented could be adopted by other types of institutions.

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