More than 50,000 inmates employed in prison workshops across Turkey
The number of workshops employing inmates in jails across Turkey has reached to 1,700, with more than 50,000 prisoners working under the program overseen by the Ministry of Justice.
Products in 180 different lines of work - including textiles, woodwork, bakery, apiculture, fruit and vegetables and breeding - are sold primarily to public institutions, while some products are marketed to private businesses, daily Habertürk reported on March 20.
Inmates are covered by the general social security system and are paid a daily wage of 14 Turkish Liras ($3.57), about a quarter of the minimum wage in Turkey.
Farming in prisons increases
According to Habertürk, the agricultural activity area worked on by inmates in Turkey is now around 17.6 million square meters. Vegetables and fruits are grown in the greenhouses on lands of 80,000 square meters in all seasons.
Some 3,600 tons of fodder, 2,000 tons of fruits, 2,000 tons of grains, 1,400 tons of vegetables and 85,000 ornamental plants were produced in the system in 2017.
Inmates also collected 95 tons of olives from trees planted in fields belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces and universities last year.
Some 10,000 walnut trees and 5,000 olive trees have been planted around prisons in Turkey so far.
85 bakeries and nine kitchens
Some 450,000 loafs of bread are produced by inmates at almost 100 bakeries, while nine pastry kitchens, four dairy farms, four egg production facilities, four olive oil mills, two fried meat and sausage facilities and one jam and spice workshop are also operated by inmates.
The report also stated that 500,000 tracksuits produced by inmates in 118 textile factories were sold to the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2017.
The Supreme Election Board of Turkey bought 1.2 million ballot bags produced by inmates last year, while 250,000 carrier bags were sold to the Post and Telegraph Organization and 53,000 storage bags were sold to the Forensic Medicine Institute.
Inmates also produced 87,000 items of apparel for the Turkish Naval Forces Command and 50,000 school desks for the Education Ministry last year.