PrisoninEuropeOverviewandtrends.pdf

The greek report shows serious understaffing and no

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The Greek report shows serious understaffing and no will to ensure a dynamic security. According to some reports (confirmed by the Greek Federation of Prison Service Personnel) one unarmed prison officer is responsible for the supervision of 300 inmates, and at night in some prisons the situation is worse (1/450). For the same reason (understaffing), perimeter security with armed staff is also rudimentary. There are no risk assessment procedures during admission. According to the CPT, there are high levels of violence among inmates and there are powerful groups of prisoners who dominate and exercise control over other inmates. There are no security regulations except for some general and abstract references in the Penitentiary Code. In practice, in order to prevent negative and disordered situations stemming from cult ural and personal differences, prison staff seek to obtain prisoners’ homogeneity; they isolate and segregate provocative inmates by moving them within the same prison or transferring them to other prisons, even by locking them inside cells and dormitories or unlocking them in different shifts. OTHER FORMS OF CONTROL
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European Prison Observatory Prison in Europe: overview and trends 36 In this section we will analyse the topic of prisoners’ safety. It’s important to discuss this topic because prisons are dangerous places characterized by several factors such as deprivation, suffering, asymmetrical power relationship and often violence (cf. Edgar et al., 2003; Chauvenetet al., 2008). In the management of these factors, inmates are involved together with all social actors that work in prison: the prison staff (cf. Bennetet al., 2008). For this reason, we will discuss the topic of prisoners’ safety facing some issues linked to the relations between prisoners and prison staff, in particular the prison officers (cf. Lieblinget al., 2011): the discipline and punishment, the use of force by the prison officers, the use of instruments of restraints and weapons and the possibility to make requests and complaints. Concerning the issues of discipline and punishment, the European Prison Rules assert: “Disciplinary procedures shall be mechanisms of last resort” (56.1), and: “Whenever possible, prison authorities shall use mechanisms of restoration and mediation to resolve disputes with and among prisoners” (56.2), and: “Only conduct likely to constitute a threat to good order, safety or security may be defined as a disci plinary offence” (56.3). Despite what is prescribed by the European Prison Rules, only the Spanish penitentiary law holds the use of disciplinary procedures to be a mechanism of last resort. The laws of the other countries don’t prescribe this. According to the reports, in all the countries disciplinary procedures are used very often and, unfortunately, they seem to constitute the ordinary form of prison management.
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