The serious violent incidents at Korydallos Prison – Greece’s largest –  between groups of prisoners which required a strong police presence to handle highlight the exceptionally problematic situation in Greece’s correctional system.

The conditions within prisons could be described even as inhuman, and the participation of prisoners accused of involvement in the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire terrorist group in the incidents suggests a link between common criminals and terrorists.

This outburst of violence indicates that organised crime has developed an incredible audacity that transcends prison walls.

The reason for that is that it feels strong in comparison to the state’s law enforcement and coercive mechanisms and that the state cannot effectively confront it.

The situation heightens the sense of insecurity in society, and especially more vulnerable citizens feel totally unprotected.

Fears are aggravated by the relative leniency of the new Criminal Code toward violent criminals. There is a sense of tolerance of impunity.

The entire correctional system must be re-examined to restore order but also to restore citizens’ sense of safety in their daily life.

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