Common Offense Among Detainees

The demographic data from our study at the Grevena Correctional facility have similarities with the investigation (Giotakos, 2003), which took place about 15 years ago the Tripoli Prison in similar prisoners. The majority of the prisoners are Greeks belonging to the age group between 41-60 years old and of low educational level.

Rape is the most common offense among detainees in both investigations. The offense of seduction of minors is just as common. As a result of our investigation, rape perpetrators are mostly Greek (0.624) or Balkan citizens (0.229), Orthodox Christians, 41-50 years old (0.358), urban residents (0.593), primary school graduates (0.426), employed in solitary professions (drivers, farmers, etc.) (0.577). The data are in general accordance to international studies that rapists belong to low social and economic strata (Ward et al., 1997), without stable employment or working as unskilled workers (Giotakos, 2003).

Child pornography traffickers have a medium or high level of education as specialized knowledge of the use of new technologies is required. There appears to be a correlation between the educational level and the profession that has direct interaction with children (1 in 4 offenders) with this type of perpetrator.

Detainees for the offense of sexual seduction of minors belong to the 51-60 age group, married or unmarried without children. Incest sex offenders, they are married with at least 2 or more children. Overall, there is no change in the demographic characteristics of sexual offenders despite the socio-economic changes of recent years in Greece.

The relationship between the sexual violence and the mental health of sex offenders has been examined (Tilhonen et al., 1997; Brennan et al., 2000) without clearly defining this causal relationship. Other research into the psychiatric profile of sexual offenders shows high rates of psychiatric morbidity (Abel et al., 1988, McElroy et al., 1999). In other studies these rates are much lower (Henn et al., 1976).

In our study of a total of 226 sexual offenders, only 41 of the detainees (18.1%), were examined in the infirmary of the Facility as part of their case or they requested evaluation. All of them (100%) were diagnosed with some sort of mental disorder, some with two. Out of the 41 sex offenders there were 57 diagnoses, 17 cases included depressive disorder, 23 anxiety disorder, 8 psychotic disorder, 5 substance-related disorder and 4 (9.7%) with other disorders (bipolar, behavioral, personality, and sleeping disorders). Patients of the same disorder followed identical medical therapy.

In the Giotakos study (2003) conducted at the Tripoli Detention Center 56% of the sample had a psychiatric diagnosis. For our study sample this was 21% with mood anxiety disorders, with 4 % having substance abuse disorder and 3% psychotic disorders.

The presence of mental disorders in this category of detainees as shown in our study is quite common. The existence of psychopathology in all examined subjects in the Giotakos study (2003) increases the probability of psychiatric morbidity in the other sexual assault prisoners in the Greek correctional setting that have not been examined. The majority of the sexual offenders in the Grevena Correctional Facility have not been examined, and therefore no psychiatric illness has been diagnosed. The lack of data on their psychiatric profile is due to their non-mandatory psychiatric assessment and the lack of qualified staff. The number of sexual offenders, 41 cases, with psychiatric problems, in our study, corresponds to those who have requested a psychiatric examination or who have been referred by the psychologist or psychiatrist of the Detention Center.

The fact that all the examined sex offenders, albeit a limited sample, were diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses makes it necessary to investigate the psychopathology of the remaining prisoners with psychometric procedures in order to obtain more secure conclusions about the existence of psychopathology in the particular prison population. This information is important for understanding the mechanisms and causative factors associated with their sexual offending behavior and for assessing the risk of relapse in order to create a comprehensive action plan for therapeutic intervention and prevention of relapse, an action that is completely absent from the Greek prison system.