Release of inmates under new reforms

Release of inmates under new reforms

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Release of inmates under new reforms

75 people are released from Muğla prison after the third judicial package. AA photo

Several inmates have been released from Turkey’s overpopulated prisons as the recently adopted third judicial package was implemented.

Some 285 inmates have been transferred to open prisons while another 50 were released in Ankara, 34 in Erzincan and 75 in Muğla.

According to the reform package, which came into force July 4, all probes into offences committed via the media punishable with jail terms of up to five years have been suspended. In addition, jail sentences for offences related to “crime organizations” and “extortion” have been ended.

Outside of Ankara, 200 inmates have been transferred to an open prison in Kahramanmaraş, while 19 have been released. Releases in other prisons are also expected.

The third package aimed to both relieve the judiciary’s burden and resolve the overpopulation problem of Turkey’s prisons. The number of prisoners has increased to 132,000 from 69,000 over the last 10 years, even though Turkey’s jails had a total capacity of 125,000 people as of April 2012, according to information provided by the justice ministry.

The problem of overpopulation in prisons came into the spotlight last month when prisoners started a fire which killed 13 prisoners in Şanlıurfa Prison in protest of poor conditions and overpopulation.