Drugs won’t stay out of prison

Less than a fortnight after three women died in Greece’s biggest prison following a New Year’s Eve drink and drugs binge, another four female convicts had to be hospitalized on Saturday after taking copious quantities of anti-depressants. One of the four, Sophia-Maria Bakea, a 40-year-old serving time for drugs offenses, has been charged with manslaughter and drug smuggling for allegedly providing the heroin and anti-depressants used in the New Year’s Eve party. Her mother, Dora Carmen Villaba, was also charged in connection with the deaths, for allegedly smuggling into prison during visiting hours the heroin provided by her daughter’s boyfriend, Dimitris Penias. The other women found by prison warders in a semi-comatose state in their cells early on Saturday were Athanassia Katakorou, 32, Anastassia Manda, 32, and Stamatia Misiedaki, 22. They were in jail pending trial for theft and drugs offenses. All four were rushed to the Piraeus Tzanneio Hospital, and returned to Korydallos after receiving first aid. A search of their cells uncovered 65 anti-depressant pills as well as traces of a white powder, which was sent to police labs for analysis. It is unclear whether their cells had been searched after the New Year’s Eve party, which cost the lives of three women aged 19, 22 and 41, who were also in pre-trial detention. The Korydallos women’s wing governor and her deputy were sacked after the incident and charged with dereliction of duty for having taken no action to stop Villaba from smuggling drugs into the penitentiary, although they had allegedly been aware of her activities. At the time, the government had denied that organized drug-smuggling was going on in Korydallos.

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