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9 Eur. J. Criminology 3 (2012)

handle is hein.journals/eujcrim9 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Article                                                                    (:rnology

                                                               European journal of Criminology
                                                                              9(1) 3-22
Suffering        at   the    hands of                                  The Author(s) 2012
                                                              Reprints and permission: sagepub.
the    state: Conditions of                                      co.ul</journalsPerissions.nav
                                                              DOl: 10. 1177/14773708I1421643
im   prisonm        ent and       prisoner                                euc.sagepub.corn

health in contemporary Greece                                               OSAGE

Leonidas K. Cheliotis
Queen Mary, University of London, UK

With imprisonment rates rising in a large number of jurisdictions worldwide, ever more research
attention has been paid to conditions of imprisonment and prisoner health. With a view to
contributing to the emerging body of literature, this article offers a systematic summary of key
findings from Greece. Prison establishments in this country are vastly overcrowded and material
conditions of detainment are deplorable. Healthcare provision in prison is minimal and the
prevalence of serious transmittable diseases and mental disorders amongst prisoner populations
is high, as are the rates of deliberate self-harm, suicide and death more generally. Prisoner use of
prescribed and illicit drugs is alarmingly common, especially as regards injection drugs, and drug
overdose appears to account for the majority of deaths in custody.

drug use, Greece, prison conditions, prisoner health, prisoner death and suicide


Recent  decades have  witnessed a dramatic rise in the use of imprisonment  in a large
number  ofjurisdictions worldwide (Van Dijk, 2008: 259-60). As well as trying to gauge
the precise scale and explain the underlying causes of this trend, scholarship has duly
paid increasing attention to the experience of imprisonment as such, including the harms
it generates for prisoners. Conditions of imprisonment  and  prisoner health typically
occupy  centre stage in this regard. The jurisdictional focus of international reviews that

Corresponding author:
Dr Leonidas K. Cheliotis, Lecturer in Criminology and Deputy Director of the Centre for Criminal justice,
Department of Law, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London El 4NT, UK.
Email: 1.cheliotis@qmul.ac.uk

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