Cyprus Mail

Warden’s union concerned over prison overcrowding

Court decisions have shown crime is being organised from prison

Isotita union on Wednesday expressed concerns about the direction taken by the justice minister and the effect it will have on the daily lives of inmates and staff working in state prisons.

The need for the construction of new prisons is imperative, the wardens’ branch of Isotita union said on Wednesday.

In a letter addressed to Justice Minister Anna Procopiou, the union stated that the measures proposed by the minister do not solve the problem of overcrowding.

The prisons, which have a capacity for 460 inmates, currently host 1000 prisoners, according to the union.

“Even if the open prison becomes closed with an additional capacity for 220 people, it will reach [a total capacity of] 680 people…the problem is not solved but you are going to create more,” the letter states.

The union added that the existing prisons, which date back to 1894, are in a dead zone and a residential area.

Moreover, the union said, the existing buildings are not earthquake resistant.

“We support the dignity and safety of prisoners and staff and insist that the imperative for new, modern and secure prisons cannot be ignored any longer,” the letter concluded.

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