The problem with detention is that every time a State deprives a person from his/her freedom, it takes on the responsibility to cater for all of that person’s needs. When this practice is carried out at a wide-scale, indiscriminately and for prolonged periods it becomes very costly and no longer a good value for the money invested; no matter how well resources have been managed. Detention therefore should not be Greece’ main policy tool; it can only offer a limited and last resort solution when all other more cost-effective alternatives of a comprehensive strategy have been exhausted.

There are effective and less costly alternatives that Greece must explore before investing further in a policy with doubtful outcomes. Alternatives that have been successfully applied in other countries include: Screening and assessment of individual cases, Investment in early legal advice, Expansion of alternative surveillance schemes, Investment in open accommodations, Expansion of return counseling programs.

Authors: Danai Angeli, Anna Triandafyllidou

MIDAS Policy BriefPolicy brief: The case study of Amygdaleza Pre-removal Center