EU Project supports Turkish Criminal Justice System through more humane way of supervision of offenders and suspects: "Electronic Monitoring"EU Project supports Turkish Criminal Justice System through more humane way of supervision of offenders and suspects: "Electronic Monitoring"
A European Union-funded project supporting an efficient and functional electronic monitoring system in Turkey for effective prevention and reduction of crime is closed on 31 July in Ankara. The event was attended by the Deputy Minister of Justice Mr Bilal Uçar, Ambassador of Portugal to Turkey H.E. Ms. Paula Leal da Silva, Deputy Head of Mission of the Netherlands to Turkey Mr. Erik Westrate and Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey Mr. Gabriel Munuera Vinals.
Electronic monitoring is used in the framework of the criminal justice process helping to reduce the need to resort to deprivation of liberty, while ensuring effective supervision of suspects and offenders in their communities, and thus helping prevent crime. In Turkey the system started officially in February 2013.
It is anticipated that electronic monitoring will allow judges to take greater risks to impose alternative sanctions on a greater proportion of offenders, provided that the capacity of the system, which currently can monitor 5.000 individuals at the same time, is increased. Extending the use of electronic monitoring as much as possible as an alternative to remand in custody in Turkey has several benefits for the offenders, and would reduce the overcrowding in prisons.
This twinning project has produced some valuable recommendations and assessments; Examination of Turkish legislation resulted in drafting of primary and secondary legislation in this area. A number of policies and procedures have been drafted and piloted in 12 probation branches of Turkey. Awareness raising activities were organised for both the justice professionals, offenders themselves and their families.
The Turkish Ministry of Justice has cooperated with the UK, the Netherlands and the Portuguese Ministries of Justice. With an EU contribution of € 950.000, the project has lasted 24 months.
The project was complemented by an additional EU contribution of €850.000 for the procurement of electronic monitoring tools to 12 probation branches for actively controlling offenders and protecting victims, such as fingerprint units, plus cars and motorcycles for rapid intervention in the case of probation breaches.
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