The main objective of the visit was to examine the treatment and living conditions of persons held in the Korydallos Psychiatric Hospital for prisoners (the Hospital).
The CPT found that to all intents and purposes the Hospital remains a prison both in its design and functioning. Further, the promised transfer of responsibility of the hospital to the Ministry of Health has still not taken place. The patients in the Hospital are held in overcrowded and dilapidated rooms and offered few purposeful activities. Treatment was based almost exclusively on pharmacotherapy with no genuine occupational therapy activities on offer. There were no individual treatment plans in place and the record keeping was poor. The situation was made worse by the dire staffing arrangements; there was no resident psychiatrist and only one fully trained nurse in place for 170 patients. The day-to-day management of the hospital was left in the hands of a small team of dedicated prison officers with no formal training on mental health issues. The report also raises concerns over the absence of a restraint policy and of the way in which deaths in the Hospital are investigated.
The CPT also visited the recently established transgender unit in Korydallos Women’s Remand Prison where the living conditions offered were a vast improvement on those found at Corfu Prison in 2021. However, more needs to be done to develop a clear policy framework for transgender persons in prison which should include protocols on such issues as searches, staffing, healthcare and treatment and access to purposeful activities.
A targeted follow-up visit to Special Wing C in Korydallos Men’s Prison found that living conditions for the persons held on the unit remained an affront to human dignity and could be considered as amounting to inhuman and degrading treatment. Cells were filthy, unhygienic and dilapidated and severely overcrowded. Although the authorities were quick to take action to refurbish the unit, it remains severely overcrowded with each person still having less than 2 m2 of living space.
More generally, the CPT reiterates the importance of taking vigorous action to tackle overcrowding in many of the prison establishments. The CPT also highlights once again the necessity to develop a revised Strategic Plan with clear timelines and financial costings.
In their response, the Greek authorities provide information on the measures being taken to implement the recommendations made in the CPT’s report while referencing the constraints under which the prison administration is acting.