Minister promises jail reform

Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras yesterday heralded in a series of sweeping reforms intended to improve Greece’s prison system, including the separation of convicts according to the severity of their crimes. «Our prison system presents a miserable picture,» Papaligouras said. «There is no greater proof that the system has failed than the fact that nowadays most released prisoners soon end up back in jail.» One of the principal reforms Papaligouras said he would pass in new draft legislation would put an end to the detention of small-time criminals alongside hardened convicts. He said prisoners would be separated according to their age, the length of their sentence and the nature of their crime. Furthermore, Papaligouras said, new prisons will be built to fight overcrowding – including special penitentiaries for drug addicts. Jails, the minister said, should become «areas of limited freedom,» so as not to completely sever convicts’ ties with society. And prisoners, he said, will be integrated into the social security system.

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