Just imagine...

10 Mayıs 2024 Cuma

"If I return to my old neighborhood and surroundings, I will get involved in crime again. I don't know how I will find a job."

A young prisoner who feared being released said this to me. I can't remember how many times I've heard it.

As you see, there are news stories everywhere about the 9th Judicial Reform Package. And we keep reducing the issue to who will be released. It’s as if we live in a desert; any increase in justice would be wonderful. But still...

As if lawlessness weren't enough, many prisoners spend their days in inhumane conditions. I'm not even talking about bunk beds, there are those who sleep in the dining hall because there is no room left on the floor. For this reason alone, a radical change in the execution regime is essential.

However, we do not think enough about the overcrowding of prisons or their emptying. No, I won't repeat the injustices in political cases. I don't think they will undergo a radical transformation with the judicial package in this political climate. At least, I know that the solution in political cases is more likely in the hands of those who tie the ribbon on the package, rather than inside the package itself.

What I mean is that the “rehabilitation system,” which has become a crime academy, needs a complete overhaul. I won't drag this on. Just imagine, if only the 9th Judicial Reform Package could also remedy these problems in prisons:

1- In prisons, there are poor people who can’t even buy drinking water, in addition to those who can turn a handcuff key into money. They have been inside for years but are alone. They might be released today, but they have no address to go to after leaving the prison. Naturally, they seek refuge in the most familiar old “friend,” that is, crime.

2- I listen to Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç. He emphasizes the importance they place on workhouses, saying "production is carried out in 1700 workshops and facilities in 403 penal institutions." He adds: "A person who has committed a crime now becomes a professional and beneficial to society upon leaving prison." If so, why then do more than half of those who enter prison commit crimes again once they are released? Why do we constantly hear the phrase "We met in prison" in the statements of organized crime members?

3- Did you know that prisoners working in open prisons are paid less than a fifth of the minimum wage, constituting labor exploitation? Moreover, anyone looking at the canteen prices can understand how difficult it is to live in prison even with the money earned. So, are prisons really institutions of “reform” or are they businesses?

4- We read these types of news very often: “Released on prison leave; committed rape, theft, murder…” Does the state never consider how a prisoner, who has spent many years in prison, will live during the time they are on leave?

5- And does no one see the fatigue in the eyes of the correctional officers? Isn’t it known that the prison is not their only workplace? Almost none of them can get by without a side job. I know guards who work as waiters or wedding musicians in their supposed rest time. Are those left to their own devices supposed to rehabilitate prisoners?

In summary...

Fears, weaknesses, loneliness, and environments push many people back into committing crimes. Thus, the task also falls to sociologists and psychologists. As Raymond Chandler, a classic name in detective stories, said: “Crime is not a disease, it’s a symptom. Guardians are like a doctor who gives aspirin to a patient with a tumor in their brain.”

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Just imagine... 10 Mayıs 2024

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