General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses, Turkey

General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses is part of the Turkish Ministry of justice responsible for the execution of sentences. In Turkey there are a total of 130.615 prisoners in penal institutions as of 20 May 2013; 28.855 of the total number are detainees and 101.760 are convicts. 26.103 of the detainees are male, 1.398 are female and 1.354 are juvenile. As for convicts, 98.052 are male, 3.279 are female and 429 are juvenile.

Being the places where people sentenced to deprivation of liberty are detained, penal institutions are the living places that need to be watched closely and inspected continually by official and unofficial people and institutions. Remarks and recommendations in the reports prepared through inspections and investigations are evaluated as catalysts and guidelines for reform processes in punishment and execution field.

The fundamental aim of execution is defined in the Article 3 of Law No.5275 on Punishment and Security Measures as procuring general and specific crime prevention by strengthening the factors that prevent recidivism, protecting the society against crime, encouraging the convicts to re-socialize, facilitating convicts’ adaptation to a life that is productive, responsible and respectful to laws and order. Educational, vocational, sports and socio-cultural activities are being administered to serve the aim mentioned.

A total of 15.521 social and cultural activities, both inside rooms and common living places, were realized in 2012 within the scope of rehabilitation of prisoners. The educational studies cover literacy training within primary education for illiterate prisoners and prisoners with various levels of education are motivated to continue their trainings. Accordingly, 6.391 prisoners had literacy education in 2012. Besides, 4.841 prisoners registered for open schools and 6.101 prisoners registered for open high schools in 2012. Furthermore, 1.513 prisoners in total registered in universities, being open instruction faculties and formal education, and a total of 401 convicts and detained persons graduated from university.

Various vocational trainings are administered in penal institutions through trainer and material supports of İŞ-KUR (Turkish Employment Agency) and Ministry of National Education. Thus, a sum of 50.684 convicts and detainees attended 3.811 vocational training courses in 2012. Workshop activities also help the rehabilitation and post-release employment of prisoners. The 2012 rate of registered employment of released offenders who gained vocational skills in prisons is 38.