In September the new closed prison wing – 240 prisoners will be able to stay

According to the Minister of Justice, the problem of prison overcrowding will be solved by 30%

Screenshot 8 4 new ward, prison

At the end of September, the new wing of the closed prison will be operational, in which 240 prisoners will be able to stay, according to the Minister of Justice and Public Order Marios Hartsiotis, who estimated that this way the problem of overcrowding in prisons will be solved by 30%, while with the construction of the new Central Prisons building being promoted the problem will be resolved once and for all.

Mr. Hartsiotis was speaking on Tuesday morning after the inauguration of the Center for Guidance, Extra-institutional Employment and Rehabilitation of Prisoners, within the premises of the Department of Prisons, which took place in the presence of the Deputy Director of the Central Prisons, Haris Filippidis, the Director General of the Ministry of Justice, Loui Panagi, Ministry of Justice Officers and officers.

Today the Center for Guidance, Extra-institutional Employment and Rehabilitation of Prisoners is inaugurated and at the end of September the new wing of the closed prison in the old building of the open prison is operating with a number of prisoners, which will be around 240 prisoners, he said.

"You understand that with this infrastructure, which is essentially completed in the Autumn and is the first phase to alleviate the issue of overpopulation, there will be a solution to the whole problem of the order of 30%", he added.

He pointed out, at the same time, that the problem will be solved definitively with the completely new Central Prisons building, which is being promoted, with a capacity for about 360 more prisoners.

In his greeting earlier at the opening, Mr. Hartsiotis mentioned that the creation of the new Center for Guidance, Extra-institutional Employment and Rehabilitation of Prisoners, which will be able to accommodate up to 36 prisoners, is part of the measures adopted and promoted by the Government to deal with chronic and serious problem of prison overcrowding.

"I should note that we have already proceeded with the creation of the new open prison that has been operating since last February and can accommodate up to 60 prisoners, while next September the new closed prison will be delivered, it is the new closed wing of the prisons that will be able to accommodates up to 240 prisoners," he said.

According to Mr. Hartsiotis "the Center we are launching today includes prisoners, who are held in the open prison and who are selected by a competent Committee for employment or attending such courses in secondary or higher education schools outside of the Prisons".

In 2020, the Minister continued, by amending the relevant legislation, the prison legislation, the period during which it is possible for prisoners to remain at the Center was extended, always with the aim of further strengthening their social and smoother reintegration.

As he said, the prisoners who join the Center serve the remaining and last part of their sentence under conditions of limited and certainly controlled freedom with the aim of gradual and orderly reintegration into free society.

"They work in the free market, for an employer and work approved by the relevant Commission or the Director of Prisons and their terms of employment are the same as the rest of the workers as in the free society and in the entire professional sector," he explained.

Mr. Hartsiotis stated that "the role of the Center and the Committee that selects the prisoners who will join it is decisive for their smooth social reintegration by ensuring them work, accommodation, clothing, adequate means of transportation to their destination and small sums of money to deal with their first and basic needs immediately after their release".

Recently, said the Minister of Justice, exercising the powers granted to him by the law on prisons, he proceeded to appoint the new members of the Committee of the Center for Guidance, Extra-institutional Employment and Rehabilitation of Prisoners, whom he congratulated "for the very important work they do and the help they provide to the prisoners for their smooth reintegration into society".

"The Ministry, recognizing the difficulties faced by prisoners after their release and wanting to contribute to the smooth reintegration of these people into society and their professional rehabilitation, signed a memorandum of understanding with the OEB to provide financial incentives to employers for hiring released prisoners ", he said.

The results of the implementation of the memorandum, he added, "are particularly encouraging and for this reason its further expansion is being considered to maximize these positive results".

The Minister of Justice thanked the Directorate of Prisons for the very good cooperation they have in the efforts both to strengthen the social reintegration of the prisoners and to improve the detention conditions in general.

He also thanked all the competent public Authorities who cooperated and especially the Directorate and the staff of the Department of Public Works and Electromechanical Services to enable the completion and delivery of the project they launched today.

After the end of the ceremonial part of the opening, a guided tour of the Center followed.

The Center is a prisoner's last stage before he is released for reintegration into society

In response to a question - after the inauguration and the guided tour inside the Center - regarding the Center, the Minister of Justice and Public Order, Marios Hartsiotis, said that it is a new building, which will house the Center for Guidance, Extra-Institutional Employment and Prisoner Rehabilitation, which is essentially the last stage of a prisoner before he is released for reintegration into society.

"It is a very modern center, as you have seen, a very modern building. It is more generally part of the modernization of prison facilities, in order to alleviate the problem of overcrowding. A problem which is diverse", he said.

He added that "it's not just a matter of the number of prisoners in each cell, but it has its specifics in the sense that overcrowding will be something that will help more generally."

"Also, yes, it is a measure towards the suppression of organized crime in general, as one can easily understand", he added.

As the Minister said, a certain number of prisoners have already been transferred to the new open prison since last February.

"Today the present Center for Guidance, Extra-Institutional Employment and Rehabilitation of Prisoners is inaugurated and at the end of September the new wing of the closed prison in the old building of the open prison is operating with a number of prisoners, which will be around 240 prisoners. It is understood that with this infrastructure, which is essentially completed in the autumn and is the first phase to alleviate the issue of overpopulation, there will be a solution to the whole problem of the order of 30%", he added.

In conclusion, the Minister of Justice said that the problem will be solved once and for all with the completely new Central Prisons building, which is being promoted, there is also a related decision of the Council of Ministers, "it will be erected in the wider area where we are today and will cover about another 360 places of prisoners ».

Source: KYPE