Prisons mull early releases to help curb virus spread

Prisons mull early releases to help curb virus spread

Greek authorities have suspended all transfers of prisoners between penitentiaries as part of broader efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus and are considering the early release of those serving time for minor offenses in a bid to ease congestion and further lessen the chances of transmission. 

The ministry’s general secretariat for anti-crime policy earlier this month suspended all “open” visits for prisoners and even those conducted between a glass divider have been limited.

Furloughs for prisoners have also been suspended to avert the possible transmission of the virus between prisoners and people in society.

The authorities had delayed moving forward with this measure for fear of riots as occurred in Italian prisons recently when visits and furloughs were restricted.

Ministry officials have also been pondering the possible release of prisoners to free space in penitentiaries and lessen the chances of the virus being spread. 

Iran has already released thousands of prisoners for the same reason and similar plans are being considered in France and Italy. 

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