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July 26, 2012

Every Greek prisoner now has to get out of the fancy new pool

As reported in this AP article, "Greece’s largest maximum security prison won’t get to keep its waterfall-adorned, barbecue-equipped pool." Here is why:

The Justice Ministry on Tuesday ordered the destruction of a 7.4-meter (24-foot) long pool in the yard of Korydallos prison’s psychiatric wing, saying the structure was built without permission and did not comply with health and safety standards.

The pool’s existence at the jail near Athens was reported by a newspaper Sunday. The ministry said the structure, reportedly built last year, includes a small rock waterfall and a poolside barbecue installation.

Greece’s Prison Officers Association said the pool was built using money the group raised and was restricted to staff and inmates at the psychiatric wing. Korydallos houses some 2,300 inmates, with about 300 receiving some form of psychiatric care.  The association expressed disappointment over the order to destroy the pool, which it called part of an attempt "to change things for the better — viewing inmates at those facilities as human beings and not numbers."

Overcrowding at Greek prisons has worsened since the start of the country’s major financial crisis in late 2009, according to the Justice Ministry and the prison officers association, due to a spike in violent crime and prosecutions for tax-related offenses.

In addition to finding this story comparatively intriguing and also amusing, I think it is notable that the Greek equivalent of our prison guards' union expressed disappointment over the destruction of this fancy prison facility.

July 26, 2012 at 05:53 AM | Permalink


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I had not known before reading this that you had to support a "small rock waterfall" and a barbecue outfit in order to be certified as "viewing inmates...as human beings and not numbers." I kinda thought you could be seen as viewing them as human beings even if they didn't have a swimming pool at all -- I don't.

Anyone wondering why Greece is bankrupt need wonder no more.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jul 26, 2012 10:02:58 AM

call me crazy, but doesn't "using money the group raised" usually indicate that a funds were raised by private donations? i'd think that if the $ came out of the prison budget that would have been newsworthy as well.

Posted by: call me crazy | Jul 26, 2012 11:01:20 AM

Souvlaki on the grill with some skordalia and tzatziki on the side, at poolside. Kala.

Seriously, I'm often,if not constantly thankful that Socrates & Stamatiki Adamakis left Sparta for America/Canada never to return. I did return as a teen with the Greek Church, and a funny thing I beheld was the local pronunciation of water as Neir-oh.
This made our Aquatics class, Ne[u]rotics.

{It would have been more therapeutic with a waterfall &tc.}

Posted by: Adamakis | Jul 26, 2012 12:33:32 PM

I'm about as liberal as I figure one can get on criminal justice issues, and even this seems like a waste of money. I fully agree that inmates need to be treated as human beings, which is a far cry from the way things are run here in the states and owes much to the lower recidivism rates that European nations see IMO...

But yeah, this is kind of superfluous. By kind of, I mean totally.

Posted by: Guy | Jul 26, 2012 11:12:58 PM

I'm guessing if the Greek inmates themselves had been asked how pennies from heaven should have been spent, the prison's food budget would have out-polled water-recreation opportunities.

Posted by: John K | Jul 27, 2012 8:09:26 AM

i have to agree. but my problem is why was it build in the first place. who ok'd it. Why should it now be destroyed causing the lost of all those funds that were probably donated by the family and friends of those stuck in there.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 27, 2012 3:09:15 PM

"Is there currently a law being passed in Greece, to allow prisoners who have served 1/3 of their sentence to be released in October 2013?"
I am a student.

Posted by: Melody | Sep 22, 2013 1:31:06 AM

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