Amid heated discussions over how to reform juvenile detention centers after allegations of serious abuse in Adana’s Pozantı prison came into the media spotlight in March, the Ministry of Justice is working on new projects to replace those centers with new facilities which are designed to ensure the psychological and sociological welfare of minors.
The preliminary pilot study will take place in Ankara in June, Deputy Undersecretary of the Justice Ministry Sefa Mermerci said in an address to the Human Rights Investigation Commission in Parliament on Thursday. According to the project, juvenile detention centers will be closed and minors will stay in facilities resembling houses, where they will receive education in a range of skills. Moreover, the parents of minors will also be able to stay there, Mermerci said.
New facilities will be constructed in Ankara, İstanbul, İzmir, Erzurum and Elazığ for the education of minors, Mermerci said. Minors will stay in single rooms which have their own bathroom and toilet. Minors will be able to spend nights with members of their families. There will be also a sports hall in the facility, which will include areas for rehabilitation activities, education and living quarters.
For the moment, nearly 2,000 minors -- including both convicts and suspects pending trial – are held in juvenile detention centers. The project is expected to be completed in between 24 and 30 months, Mermerci told lawmakers.