Turkey's prisons are operating beyond capacity as the number of prisoners has witnessed a sharp rise in the past decade, according to figures from the country's Justice Ministry.
Some 184,494 convicts and detainees are currently incarcerated in 361 prisons in Turkey that only have a capacity for 179,883 inmates, daily Habertürk reported on March 1, citing Turkish Justice Ministry data.
Data revealed that the entire population of Turkish prisoners is more than 100,000 higher than that of 10 years ago.
Turkey has 290 closed prisons, 60 semi-open prisons, two children's education houses, five closed prisons for female inmates, an open prison for female inmates and three closed prisons for juvenile inmates, according to data.
Data revealed that a total of 169 prisons have been closed down over the past eight years, while the Justice Ministry is reportedly considering opening campus-style prison complexes that would be composed of multiple retreats to host large numbers of prisoners.
At the same time, the ministry aims to reduce the number of prisons in the country and the expenditures for operating jails so as to ultimately reduce prison expenses on the state budget.
Men comprise the vast majority of the Turkish prison population with 175,445 currently behind bars, equaling 95 percent of the total number of inmates, data revealed. In contrast, there are just 6,616 women in jail, representing 3.5 percent of the nationwide prisoner population, according to data. At the same time, there are also 2,433 minors in jail.
Some 86 percent of the prison population also consists of convicts, with the remainder, around 26,000, remaining in jail under arrest.
“The high rate of rise in the number of prisoners shows that our government's fight against crime and criminals has been successful” Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said, underscoring that construction work for campus-style prison complexes would be accelerated so that new prison complexes would have high capacities.