With Prison Violence Spike, Murder, Greek Officials Call Emergency Meeting

FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 file photo, a prisoner in Korydallos Prison watches a pigeon fly in western Athens. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

ATHENS – Already suffering a reputation for being a low-security high-security facility, there’s been so much violence at Korydallos Prison and other jails around the country that Greek authorities have called an emergency meeting on how to deal with it.

The Justice Ministry set it up with prison directors, said Kathimerini, with the focus on Korydallos where there have been prison breaks and in the wake of the murder of an Albanian inmate and a proliferation of gangs undermining safety.

The kill was said to be so brutal that guards who witnessed it were left so shaken they were reportedly prescribed sedatives, the paper said, as prison staff described a “terrifying situation” in the facility that also houses notorious anarchist groups and terrorists.

The murder confirmed the fears of prison authorities who have repeatedly warned that a shortage of resources to curtail violent gangs from operating in Korydallos Prison would lead to deaths, the report added.

Spyros Karakitsos, head of the Greek Federation of Prison Employees, said the situation at Korydallos Prison was hopeless, while the General Secretary of the Justice Ministry, Eftychis Fytrakis, called the facility a “mother of violence.”

There was also said to be a growing problem of inmates extorting money from the families of inmates to guarantee their protection and to show how dangerous it is, a bomb being placed at the house of the sister of Ioannis Sbokos – a former General Secretary for Defense Procurements, who is serving time for bribe-taking and money laundering.

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