Turkey, EU conclude prison reform program
ANKARA – Anadolu AgencyTurkey and the European Union have wrapped up a program on harmonizing prison standards, during which 1,000 days of training was given to prisoner officers.
The training, which was given to prisoner officers in Turkey with the motto “Change starts inside,” cost 1.9 million euros ($2.1 million) and was provided in a twinning arrangement with the United Kingdom and Portugal.
Charge d’Affaires of the EU Delegation to Turkey Bela Szombati said the project was a “good example of long-standing relations between Turkey and the EU,” speaking in Ankara June 12.
“A country’s penal system says a lot about its respect for human rights. The EU pays special attention to this,” Szombati said.
The scheme was designed to “develop a well-defined, standardized and structured enforcement service, including a fully functional system to ensure rehabilitation treatment and successful re-integration of prisoners coming from different criminological backgrounds and prison staff performing in line with the EU standards,” the project’s managers reported.
Prison reform and harmonization has been a feature of Turkey’s steps towards EU membership.
The 2013 EU progress report revealed “Turkey has been pursuing an ambitious prison reform program for a number of years, which has brought improvements to prison conditions and infrastructure.”