26 more prisons under construction, says justice ministry

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Turkey’s justice ministry is constructing 26 new prisons across the country while 17 prisons have undergone renovation over the last year, Sözcü newspaper reported on Saturday, citing a ministry report for 2020.

The new prison facilities are being built with consideration for the increasing number of convicts, in an effort to prevent a capacity problem with the present 374 prisons that currently exist in Turkey, the ministry said.

In April of last year, Turkey passed a law paving the way for 90,000 inmates – a third of the country’s prison population – to be released in a bid to reduce the coronavirus pandemic’s threat to overcrowded prisons. But the bill excluded political prisoners, including journalists and human rights activists, which have faced a government crackdown since 2016.

The number of inmates in the country has soared following the July 2016 coup attempt, when the government detained tens of thousands in an extensive crackdown on dissent.

Turkey currently has an inmate population of 250,756, the ministry said in the 2020 report, up from 120,000 in 2010 and 48,000 in 2000.

Turkey ranks second in the incarceration rate – the number of people in prison per 100,000 of population – among OECD countries, according to a report published in May 2020.

Source: Ahval

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