Life experiences of incarcerated drug addicts in the TC KETHEA PROMITHEAS and the daycare TC KETHEA EN DRASEI

Natalia Zachartzi 1 & Remos Armaos 2

1 Social Worker, MSc, Scientific Director, Centers for the Prevention of Addictions & the Promotion of Psychosocial Health SEIRIOS, ISSUP Greece, Contact detail email:

2 MSc, PhD, Head of Staff Training Department KETHEA, Educational Researcher, Evaluator




Aim: This research aims to capture, as seamlessly as possible, the experiences of the TC members in regards to how they experience the therapeutic community within the prison, the difficulties they encountered both in the general prison and during integration into the programme, the changes they have experienced and also their motives, so to establish which one of the two programs is more suitable for treatment and rehabilitation.  It also explores the possible differences between a closed program and a day care program always based on the experiences of their members.

Method: The data was collected via semi structured interviews and for the analysis the Interpretive phenomenological theory (IPA) was used.

Participants: The research sample consisted of 35 members of the therapeutic communities KETHEA PROMITHEAS and KETHEA EN DRASEI that function within the federal prison of Diavata and the federal prison of Koridalos respectively.

Findings: The findings that emerged during the analysis of the data show changes in attitudes, perceptions, behaviours towards drug use and criminal behaviour of the participants. The usefulness of therapeutic communities is identified both as a means of treating addiction and as a means of reducing and / or eliminating the risk of criminal relapse. It is also found that, for the participants, the 24-hour Therapeutic Community is more effective and therefore more useful than the day care program.

Key words: Prison, Therapeutic communities, Addicted drug users, Experiences, Motive, Change

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