A roundtable brought together in Athens, on 22 October 2021, representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Citizen Protection, Probation Service, and the judiciary, to discuss the findings and the recommendations of a report on combating prison overcrowding in Greece. The report was developed in 2019 and updated in 2021 with recent developments in criminal legislation and implementation of community sanctions and measures. The discussions focused on three main areas of this report, namely:
- The root causes of prison overcrowding in Greece in relation to legislation, length of sentences, crime policy and criminality
- Addressing prison overcrowding in Greece by developing sustainable alternatives to detention
- Strategic planning - Crime policy, priorities
The participants in the roundtable agreed that addressing prison overcrowding requires a multi-disciplinary approach, including interventions in the legislation, probation service and long-term planning. Other European best practices on combating overcrowding were also shared with the participants (e.g. decriminalization reform in Finland, the role and functioning of probation service in Romania etc.). They expressed an open interest in learning more about the process of the penal reforms in other countries.
The roundtable was organized within the project “Strengthening prison health care in Greece“, funded by the Council of Europe Human Rights Trust Fund and implemented by the Criminal Law Cooperation Unit, Council of Europe.