Turkey: nine percent overcapacity in prisons forces inmates to sleep in shifts

Justice Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Basri Bağcı has informed Parliament that Turkish prisons are currently 9 percent over capacity, saying that some inmates have to sleep in shifts, Gerçek Gündem reported on Friday.

“There are currently 221,607 inmates in prisons. Prison capacity is 203,000, making them 9 percent over capacity,” said Bağcı during a presentation to the parliamentary Human Rights Investigation Commission.

Adding that the government is trying to balance the situation by increasing the number of people and beds in some prisons, Bağcı said: “This creates other problems. The critics on this issue are right. Due to overcrowding they used to sleep in shifts. Despite the fact that the problem has eased, this still continues.”

Bağcı also said the government plans to increase prison capacity by 11,000 by the end of 2017. Seventy-six prisons are under construction, 113 prisons are in process and 18 more are planned.

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