NEWS

Most Greek prisons overcrowded, says minister

Twenty-six of Greece’s 36 prisons and other holding facilities are woefully overcrowded, Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou revealed on Wednesday as the government approved the release of funds needed to start a pilot scheme for the electronic tagging of prisoners.

In response to a question from two Democratic Left MPs in Parliament, Athanasiou revealed that at Korydallos, the capital’s main prison, the number of inmates at 2,270 is more than double the facility’s official capacity for 1,070, while the prison’s hospital and psychiatric ward are also overcrowded with populations of 176 for 60 places and 267 for 160 places respectively.

Jails at border towns seem to have the biggest overpopulation problem, according to figures released by the minister. Kos has 161 inmates but should only hold 45, at Komotini the ratio is 329 to 105 and at Ioannina it’s 205 to 80.

Also on Wednesday, it was revealed that a one-year pilot program to fit 200 prisoners with electronic tags appears set to begin after the Finance Ministry approved the release of 1 million euros for the project. Inmates will be released from prison after being fitted with the devices. They will have to pay 15 euros a day to qualify for the program.

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