In the wake of last week’s murder of an inmate at the Greek capital’s main Korydallos Prison and a recent spike in violence at correction facilities around the country, the Justice Ministry has called a emergency meeting with prison directors on Tuesday to discuss the deteriorating situation.
Conditions at Korydallos in particular have raised alarm bells, after week’s killing of an Albanian national highlighted that gangs within the prison are laying down the law and that the security of inmates has been be compromised to a worrying degree.
Last Monday’s murder was so savage that prison guards who witnessed the incident were left so shaken they were reportedly prescribed sedatives. Prison staff have also described a “terrifying situation.”
The murder confirmed the fears of prison authorities who have repeatedly warned that a shortage of resources to curtail violent gangs from operating in Korydallos Prison would lead to deaths.
Spyros Karakitsos, head of the Greek Federation of Prison Employees, has described the situation at Korydallos Prison as hopeless, while the general secretary of the Justice Ministry, Eftychis Fytrakis, called the facility a “mother of violence.”
Another growing problem, indicative of the prison’s degradation, is a recent rash of rackets extorting money from the families of inmates for their protection. A case in point was the placing of a bomb at the house of the sister of Ioannis Sbokos – a former general secretary for defense procurements, who is serving time for bribe-taking and money laundering.