Crowded Greek prisons close their doors
Athens - Governors of three high security prisons across Greece have refused to take in any more inmates, as chronic overcrowding has reached dangerous levels, newspaper reports said on Tuesday.
In a joint letter to judicial authorities, the governors said they were unable to accommodate any more inmates "even temporarily due to excessively cramped conditions which pose a health and security risk", the Greek daily Kathimerini newspaper reported.
The prisons involved are Korydallos, located in south-western Athens, along with the facilities in Halkida and Tripoli.
"There is no space anywhere except the bathrooms. We are closing because the prison is close to exploding," Spyros Athanassiou, governor of the Halkida prison wrote.
Similar grievances were also expressed by Ioannis Anestis, the governor of Korydallos, which has seen a series of security breaches recently, including a hostage-taking last month.
"We are unable to receive inmates due to the suffering overcrowding of our institution," he said. He noted that the prison was built to hold 800 people, but is currently housing more than 2 320.
Officials were also asked to improve conditions in overcrowded prisons and jails in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, the Peloponnese town of Nafphion, and the towns of Grevenon and Malandrinou.
More than 12 700 people are currently being detained in Greek prisons, most of which are filled to at least double their capacity.