Turkey, EU conclude prison reform programme

$2.1m project saw 1,000 days' training for prison staff in Turkey to bring services in line with EU standards

Turkey, EU conclude prison reform programme

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Turkey and the European Union have wrapped up a programme on harmonizing prison standards.

One thousand days’ training was given to prisoner officers in Turkey at a cost of 1.9 million euros ($2.1 million). The training was provided in a twinning arrangement with the United Kingdom and Portugal.

Bela Szombati, Charge d'Affaires of the EU Delegation to Turkey, speaking in Ankara on Friday said the project was a “good example of long-standing relations between Turkey and the EU”.

“A country’s penal system says a lot about its respect for human rights. The EU pays special attention to these,” 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,” according to project managers.

The motto of the training scheme was: “Change starts inside.”

Prison reform and harmonization has been a feature of Turkey’s steps towards EU membership.

The 2013 EU progress report revealed that “Turkey has been pursuing an ambitious prison reform program for a number of years, which has brought improvements to prison conditions and infrastructure”.

“Reform of the prison system continued, with improved detention conditions and efforts to combat overcrowding by increasing prison capacity and the use of probation, but further reforms remain necessary.”

Portugal’s envoy to Turkey, Jorge Cabral, told the Ankara audience that with the twinning project, Lisbon believes it has contributed to Turkey’s program for alignment with the EU acquis.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Haziran 2015, 16:31