Parliament has approved the expansion of home surveillance for prisoners through the use of an electronic bracelet in an attempt to significantly reduce the prison population and financial costs, as each person in prison costs the state about €100 per day.
The move was also prompted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as an overcrowded prison increases the risk of the virus spreading among inmates.
Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis said home surveillance would also facilitate the smooth reintegration of detainees into society
Although it was first applied six years ago, the electronic surveillance measures wereonly utilised on 46 cases to date.
The modification of the current legislation will open the road for several more detainees who will now be able to serve their sentence under confinement at their homes, wearing the electronic bracelet on their ankles.
Yiolitis said that, in the past, prisoners had never violated the law by leaving home confinement while under electronic surveillance, which accelerated the process to implement the measure more quickly and for more prisoners.
Home surveillance will apply to those sentenced to 12 months or under, provided they have already served one third of their sentence, and to those sentenced for more than 12 months but less than five years, provided they have already served half their sentence.
Prisoners who have been sentenced for serious offences, such as murder, will not be eligible for neither an early release, nor for home monitoring.