Şaban Yılmaz, the director general of Prisons and Correctional Facilities, has announced that prison occupancy in Turkey exceeds capacity by some 40,000 inmates, the T24 news website reported on Wednesday.
Speaking at a meeting of the parliamentary Commission on Human Rights, Yılmaz specified that as of today some 260,000 inmates are being held in Turkey’s prisons, which have a capacity of around 220,000.
As regards the division of inmates into categories of criminal charges, Yılmaz stated that those who are imprisoned on terrorism charges make up the second largest group with 44,986 people after some 50,000 who are imprisoned on drug-related charges.
Yılmaz also revealed that 743 mothers accompanied by their children are currently imprisoned, 519 of whom have been convicted.
In addition, Yılmaz said that of the 743 children currently with their mothers in prison, 343 belong to the 0-3 year age group.
Yılmaz added that 57 people in 2017 and 44 people 2018 committed suicide in prison.
On the other hand, Yılmaz informed the members of the commission that the government has plans to hire around 10,000 new people to work in prisons in addition to some 61,000 current staff members.
The commission met under the chairmanship of Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Hakan Çavuşoğlu, who announced that since the start of the new legislative year in June, the commission has received 919 petitions on human rights issues.