ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's largest maximum security prison won't get to keep its waterfall-adorned, barbecue-equipped pool.
The Justice Ministry on Tuesday ordered the destruction of a 7.4-meter (24-foot) long pool in the yard of Korydallos prison's psychiatric wing, saying the structure was built without permission and did not comply with health and safety standards.
The pool's existence at the jail near Athens was reported by a newspaper Sunday. The ministry said the structure, reportedly built last year, includes a small rock waterfall and a poolside barbecue installation.
Greece's Prison Officers Association said the pool was built using money the group raised and was restricted to staff and inmates at the psychiatric wing. Korydallos houses some 2,300 inmates, with about 300 receiving some form of psychiatric care.
The association expressed disappointment over the order to destroy the pool, which it called part of an attempt "to change things for the better — viewing inmates at those facilities as human beings and not numbers."
Overcrowding at Greek prisons has worsened since the start of the country's major financial crisis in late 2009, according to the Justice Ministry and the prison officers association, due to a spike in violent crime and prosecutions for tax-related offenses.