NEWS

Aiding return to normal life

I believe that human rights should not stop at the prison walls. Disciplinary centers should not be «warehouses of souls» but places that prepare offenders to return to normal life in society. A modern state such as ours should not be vengeful or authoritarian. In this respect, the PASOK government formulated one of the most modern and progressive penal codes in Europe at the end of the 1990s and in 2003 introduced a modern Internal Regulation for the Operation of Disciplinary Centers, which ensures the just and humane treatment of prisoners and safeguards their rights. The seven new prisons – that we designed, funded and started building between 2002 and 2003 – must be completed without delay. New institutional changes we prepared must also be implemented without delay, such as legislation for Youth Welfare Units and social rehabilitation centers. (1) Philippos Petsalnikos is former justice minister and a deputy speaker of parliament.