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More prisons, alternatives to incarceration will reduce central prison overpopulation – guards union

Isotita, the trade union representing prison guards, suggested creating prisons in all cities as a measure to reduce overpopulation in the Nicosia central prison.

In a letter to Justice Minister, Anna Koukkides Procopiou, Isotita wrote that “more holistic solutions are needed to respond to this long-term problem.”

Therefore, it suggested the creation of new prisons in Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos.

“This approach would not only relieve overpopulation in the (Nicosia) Central Prison but it would facilitate the better management of penitentiary facilities and would improve the efforts to reintegrate convicts into society,” Isotita wrote.

Furthermore, it recommended the evaluation of alternatives to imprisonment for non-violent and first-time offenders such as monitoring, social work and restorative justice programmes.

In its list of recommendations, Isotita also included reviewing current sentencing policies, especially for non-violent or drug-related offences.

“The implementation of lighter sentences and the turn towards approaches centred on reintegration would help reduce the prison’s population,” Isotita noted.

Concluding, it suggested upgrading existing rehabilitation and education programmes, since, as it says, they could equip prisoners with the necessary skills for their successful reintegration into society after their release.

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