New bill sets tougher rules for agricultural jails, including furloughs for terrorists

A Citizen Protection Ministry bill which includes tougher security standards at agricultural jails and stricter rules for granting furloughs to convicted terrorists was discussed on Thursday by the parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice.

Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said that 24 escapes took place at the Tirintha agricultural prison from 2015 to 2019, and 200 escapes in total during that time from agricultural prisons in the country.

Convicted terrorists are not granted leaves anywhere in the European Union, excepting cases when the terrorist has publicly renounced his actions, said New Democracy MP Marietta Giannakou speaking in favor of the bill.

Main opposition party SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance criticized the bill, saying it excludes anyone convicted of misdemeanours and anyone convicted of terrorism-related crimes from being even remotely eligible for transfer to an agricultural jail. The party added that while regular jails will remain overcrowded, agricultural jails will stay “near empty.”

Movement for Change (KINAL) said furloughs was meant to be a measure of jail decongestion, while the Greek Communist Party said the bill reduces inmates’ rights even further. MeRA25 said farm jails could help decongest regular jails with people who have received light sentences.