Conditional Release from Prison in Greece: Policy and Practice
Release from Prison: European Policy and Practice, Cullompton: Willan Publishing, 2009
19 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2009
Date Written: September 22, 2009
This chapter offers an in-depth socio-historical analysis of conditional release from prison in Greece. It is argued that the scheme has always been hostage to conservative control imperatives. On the one hand, conditional release has been deployed as a no-cost tool for curbing overcrowding in the antiquated prisons of the country and a ‘carrot-and-stick’ mechanism of incentivising orderly behaviour amongst prisoners. On the other hand, owing to political considerations of the elites in office and the centralisation of decision-making powers in the hands of a traditionally punitive judiciary, harsh legal and practical restrictions have been placed upon the granting of conditional release. This has not simply crippled the capacity of the scheme to bring down overcrowding. The attendant frustration amongst prisoners over degrading conditions of captivity combines with resentment for the lack of promised rewards in exchange for compliant conduct to erode the effectiveness of conditional release as a means of pre-empting prison unrest. But again, disorders caused by penality itself operate subtly to legitimate the ongoing and continuing neglect of decarcerative alternatives.
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