The prison system in Turkey is large and complex with 377 prisons and Detention Houses, holding over 126,500 Prisoners (June 2012). The main challenges facing the Turkish prison system are the large number of untried and unsentenced prisoners (42.6% of the prisoner population), the significant overcrowding of prisons, and the increasing number of prisoners (an increase of 30,000 since 2007).
Dr Shane Bryans spent three years working full time in Turkey on their Penal Reform and Judicial Modernisation Programme, on behalf of the Council of Europe. During this time, Panopticon Consulting contributed to:
- drafting of new legislation on enforcement of sentences;
- arranging and escorting Turkish Ministry of Justice officials on study visits to six countries;
- producing expert opinions on current practices in prison management and assessments of various aspects of the Turkish prison system;
- the selection and development of prisons as ‘model’ prisons; design and implementation of prisoner rehabilitation programmes;
- development of vocational programmes for prisoners and resettlement activities;
- drafting of prison management guidelines;
- organising conferences for ministry and prison officials, NGOs and civil societies;
- production of training materials;
- drafting of a manual for prison doctors;
- publication of a handbook for prisoners; and
- the implementation of a dissemination strategy to ensure sustainability of changes.