Greece’s Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras approved on Wednesday, the release of €1 million from the state budget for a one-year pilot program by the Greek Justice Ministry, so as to fit inmates of the country’s prisons with electronic ankle bracelets in an effort to decongest Greece’s overcrowded holding facilities.
Justice Minister Charalambos Athanassiou, mentioned Wednesday in Parliament that from the 36 prisons and other holding facilities across Greece, around 26 appear to house much more inmates than allowed, thus putting security in the facilities at risk.
At Korydallos, the capital’s main prison, the number of inmates at 2,270 is more than double the facility’s official capacity of 1,070, while the prison’s hospital and psychiatric ward are also overcrowded with populations of 176 for 60 places, and 267 for 160 places, respectively.
According to figures released by Athanassiou, jails at border towns seem to have the biggest overpopulation problem, with the Greek island of Kos housing 116 more inmates than allowed, while Komotini has a 329 to 105 ratio, and Ioannina 205 to 80.
The electronic surveillance anklet, which is to be fitted during the first stage on 200 prisoners, 100 already convicted and 100 imprisoned awaiting trial, may act as a get-out-of-jail card, but will offer only restricted mobility to prisoners, who will be constrained to conducting certain activities and moving within an individually designated area.
Prisoners will have to pay €15 a day to qualify for the program, while terrorists or criminal organization members won’t be eligible for the program. Inmates serving life will be accepted only after two-thirds of the sentence has been served.