Our country and the world are going through extraordinary times. As a rapidly spreading virus which brought on the risk of mass deaths, governments are taking serious measures aimed at ensuring public health and minimizing loss of life. Prisons are one of the foremost places where measures are needed to protect the right to life of inmates.
In this contexts, we as NGOs have launched this project to monitor the COVID19 outbreak behind bars and to report on them. Our objective is to share accurate information in a way to ensure that necessary measures as taken as soon as possible and to contribute to safeguarding the right to life.
In Turkey, there are a total of 355 prisons, 268 of which closed, 83 open and four juvenile correctional facilities. Some 300,000 people are being held in these facilities either as convicts or in pretrial detention. Convicts make up of 70% of the incarcerated population while the remaining 30% are those in pretrial detention. Besides, 67,346 officers are currently employed in prisons.
The average number of inmates per 100,000 people is 100 in Europe, 146 worldwide and 350 in Turkey, which surpasses Europe by more than three times and the world by more than twice.
As a propagation behind bars will cause serious problems, we hope that all necessary measures are taken as soon as possible.