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NETFLIX series locked up in Nicosia Prisons

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Wrongfully convicted Raphael Rowe, the presenter in the NETFLIX series ‘Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons’, is in Cyprus to be locked up for a week in Nicosia Central Prisons without a trial.

A NETFLIX series concentrating on the life of inmates, “Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons”, has made its way to Cyprus.

The series’ presenter, British journalist Raphael Rowe, will spend time behind Nicosia’s Central Prisons bars, along with some dangerous criminals.

Rowe, who goes around the world to be locked up with convicts, including dangerous criminals, posted photos from Cyprus confirming reports he was coming to the island for NETFLIX’s hit documentary series.

“I’m ready for this, are you?” Rowe wrote on Instagram.

According to Greek Cypriot media, the reporter was already “arrested” by police and processed in prison after a regular admission interview.

Rowe will be transported to Nicosia Central Prisons cells with inmates convicted for debts, petty crimes, burglary and murder.

Others are held on pretrial detention or even awaiting deportation proceedings.

The prison also houses the island’s first and only convicted serial killer, sentenced to life in prison for the murders of five women and two children, all of whom were reported missing.

Cyprus central prisons is included in a new Netflix documentary on correctional institutions around the globe and their different approach to treating inmates.

Model prison

Nicosia prisons regime will be compared to other prisons where conditions are much harsher.

Netflix has started shooting in prisons in Norway, which follows a similar philosophy as the Cypriot model.

September last year, Nicosia Central Prisons governor Anna Aristotelous confirmed being approached by NETFLIX, calling it an honour for the prison to receive offers from big production companies.

Aristotelous, described as a progressive on the penitentiary spectrum, takes credit for a humane approach to prisoners.

She took the job in 2014, following many incidents, including inmate deaths and suicides, with a new system in the last few years focusing on an alternative model.

In 2015, Cyprus ranked first among European countries for suicide rates in prison.

According to a Council of Europe report, Cyprus had the highest suicide rate among 50 European countries.

The highest suicide rates per 10,000 prisoners in 2014 were recorded in Cyprus, with 44.1, which was more than double that of Norway, in second place, which recorded 16.1.

The Europe-wide average was 7.2.

Cyprus prisons did not record any suicides in 2016 and 2017 and just one in 2018 and another in 2019.

The central prisons have improved after a series of reforms and refurbishments over recent years.

Recently, the prisons administration adopted new practices and alternative penalties, especially for those sentenced to up to two years in jail.