Cyprus says sweeping changes have reduced prison suicides


The director of Cyprus’ prisons complex says no inmates have committed suicide over the last two years following sweeping reforms in the east Mediterranean island nation’s correctional system.

Anna Aristotelous’ comments to AP came after a Council of Europe Penal Statistics report released Tuesday showed that in 2014, Cyprus had Europes highest suicide rate per 10,000 inmates at 44.1. In that year, there were three suicides from an inmate population of 681.

Aristotelous said efforts to reduce overcrowding, improve health care and easing restrictions on such things as physical contact during family visits and access to telephones and education were pivotal.

She said theres been a "99.9 percent" drop on cases of self-harm since November, 2104. There are currently 630 inmates in the 528 inmate-capacity complex. [AP]