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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Expert Prof Aebi to EF on Penal Stats: Turkish Prison rate Booms, Supervision Grows, Cost Enigma

CoE Expert Prof Aebi to EF on Penal Stats: Turkish Prison rate Booms, Supervision Grows, Cost Enigma

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- From the Data and the Replies given to Questions raised by "Eurofora" and/or Other Journalists during a Press Briefing at the CoE in Strasbourg by CoE's Penal Statistics' Director, Professor Marcelo Aebi from Lausanne University, Switzerland, on the Latest Annual Stats about Prisons and Alternative Supervision Measures, several, more or less UnExpected Realities emerge, revealing some, more or less, Astonishing Trends throughout the PanEuropean area of some 47 Countries (with just a few exceptions, only for this year) :

 

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TURKISH PRISON RATE BOOMS !
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- First of all, even if it was already known that Turkey was one of the Exceptional Cases as far as "Prison Population Rates" (i.e. the Number of Jailed People per 100.000 Inhabitants of a Country) are concerned, given the notoriously "Hot" situation of Human Rights there, Nevertheless, even Experienced Strasbourg Journalists following and publishing for Decades on CoE's activities, were Surprized to Find out that, Nowadays, Turkey has become the Unique Country monitored by the CoE with such a Fast Deterioration during a whole Decade, that its Prison Rates show, by Far, the Highest Increase of all, between 2006-2016 : + 161,7% !  

 

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This is Contrary to the General Trend, which is slightly in Favor of Decreasing that Rate in 19 Countries, opposed to 18, during that Same Period. And it repesents a Very Exceptionaly Big Increase Compared to All Others : F.ex. nearly X 3 Times More than the Next Increasing National Rates, as that of Albania (+66%), etc.  (See relevant Graphic).

Moreover, the Full Extent of that Phenomenon has Not Yet been Officially Registered and Compared, Because, curiously, the Data concerning that Notorious Huge "Tsunami" of Massive Arrests of more than +150.000 Dissident People Jailed in Turkey, sooner of later, particularly After that Strange, Short-Lived : 6 Hours-Long alleged "Coup" Attempt of July 2016, was Not yet Included in these CoE's Statistics, for "Technical" Reasons, as Professor Aebi replied to a relevant question by a Turkish Collegue... Indeed, that "Trend" towards an Exceptionaly Big Increase of ImPrisonment's Rate was steadily Going-on, all-along that Latest Decade, he observed.


+ In Addition, Turkey has also the Fewer Short Duration Sentences imposed to Prisoners (Less than 3 Years : Only 7,4% in cumulative Percentage, But the Biggest such percentage of LONGER IMPRISONMENT Sentences : 3 to 10 Years or more, (being Bypassed, nevertheless, just by Moldova concerning 3 to 5 Years Jail terms : 88% compared to 82,6% in cumulative Percentage, as well as, Surprizingly : by ...Greece, concerning 5 to 9, and 10 or more Years : Respectively 76,5% and 50,1%, compared to 70,3% and 44,9% in cumulative Percentages of Imposed Sentences).


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"ALTERNATIVE", SUPERVISION MEASURES GROW TOO MUCH...
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However, in most European Countries, an Initial Push towards "Alternative" Measures to Imprisonment, Risks to become even a "Supplemetary Sanction", considering, particularly, the Fact that it has "Grown" too much, Recently, going so Far as even to Bypass the Number of Imprisonments :


- F.ex., already on September 2016 there were 1.505.187 Inmates, but More persons Condemned to be "Supervised" by "Agencies" in charge of so-called "Alternative" Measures to Imprisonment : 1.628.016, according to CoE's newest available Data.


+ Replying to an "Eurofora" Question, Professr Aebi clarified that such "Alternatives" to Imprisonment or "Supervision" Measures concern, in real Practice,  a Large Variety of Concrete Techniques and/or Methods, Nowadays :


- F.ex., in Addition to Electronic Tagging ("Bracelet Eletronic" in French), they Include also "Community Serving" sanctions, (f.ex. Work for General Interest Tasks), Monitoring by Phone-Calls, Obligations to Visit Regularly the closest Police Offices, "House Arrest", Confiscation of Travel Documents (as Passports), etc...

- But "No" Electronic "Chips"' Implants, CoE's Penal Statistics' Director, clearly Excluded.


=> Could, such "Monitoring" Measures, and their Bigger than Expected Growth, eventually hide also a Risk for a Trend towards a Dangerously Wide-Spread "Supervision" of too Many People by certain "Agencies", sometimes even with more or less Controversial Methods ?


Professor Aebi's alert, seems, apparently, to Warn about an eventual such risk, in the foreseable Future.


However, a French Collegue Journalist, smiling bitterly, observed to "Eurofora" :  - "In Fact, something like that, has almost started to exist, in real practice, in one way or another, for ...All of Us !"... And she Noded affirmatively, when, in response, we pointed, half-joking, half-seriously, inter alia, simply ...Our "Smart-Phones" !

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IMPRISONMENT COSTS' ENIGMA...
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 + Last, but not least, concerning the Material Conditions of "Life in Prisons", "Eurofora" also Questioned the CoE's Top Expert about his Team's astonishing Findings that, in fact, the Amounts of Money spent by 1 Prisoner/Day ranged, already as early as since 2016, from about 6 € (in Moldova), up to ... 359 € (in Sweden) :


 =>  i.e. a Difference of More than X 600 %, (= almost X 60 Times more, or less), from one European Country to anOther !


 - A Volume Level which is, obviously, Much Bigger even than the Differences between the Lower permitted Salaries ("SMIG" in France) throughout Various EU Countries :


=> Which are, Already, Too HIgh : F.ex., "only", about 500 €, compared to almost 1.5OO € per Month, i.e. a Difference of some X 3 Times Bigger Minimum Salary, (naturally indicating also, at least Partly, the general Cost of Everyday Life in a given Country), as "Eufora" reminded, withOut being bellied at all...


 - Why ?


 - Professor Aebi Replied, mainly, that the above-mentioned, much Bigger Difference in Costs (Comp. Supra), should, probably, be due to the Fact that, particularly several "Scandinavian Countries", (such as Sweden, etc), would have much "More Social Security" mechanisms than Other EU Countries, etc.


+ But also, probably, to the Additional Fact  that, mostly these Same "Nordic" Countries, use to "Invest More" in various "Infrastructures, Staff", etc., concerning also Prisons, while, almost at the Same Time, their Occupancy is much "Lower" than in Other EU Countries, as he added.


Indeed, - to take the Same Examples cited Above - in Moldova, the "Ratio of Inmates per total Custodial Staff" was, f.ex., on 2016, the Biggest of all in Europe : 9,9. While, on the Contrary, that of Sweden was one among the Lowest : Only 1,3 !


Such a Reasoning seems also Proven (almost "Ad Absurdum") in the particular Case of ... San Marino : Having Only such a "Ratio" of just 0,4, (i.e. : the Lowest of all), it was Registered as if it Spended, in Fact, an "Average Daily Expense per Inmate" of as much as 707,92 € ...     

 
However, there are also Various Other European Countries, which have also Low "Ratios of Inmates per ... Custodial Staff", (such as, f.ex., Monaco, with Only such a Ratio Prisoner/Staff as 0,9, and Ireland, with 1,6 added to Cyprus with just 1,8, which doN't Spend more than ...81 €, 188 €, or 73,5 €, Respectively, in their "Average Daily Expense per Inmate" on 2016...


=> Thus, it seems that there might, perhaps, be added also some Other Factors, in order to produce those Astonishingly Different Prison Costs per Inmate, already cited above.


Indeed, (Reacted in fine Professor Aebi, to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Factual Observations), to put it in a NutShell, it all looks as that Film by Michael Moore, called  : - "Who to Invade Next ?", which, naturally, points towards Countries such as Norway !...


(../..)


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It's important to create a synergy between "mutually stimulating" EU Countries' moves in order to overcome an "Unjust" Crisis "imported from USA", stressed new French Minister for Economic Revival, Patrick Devedjian, in Strasbourg, warning also that, while hoping for a vigorous Obama US Plan, nevertheless, "Time" is of essence for Europe...

In fact, it's EU's own interest to act Fast, before June 2009 EU Election, since, with Lisbon Treaty not ratified yet, it cannot face again the risk of a Majority Abstention, as back in 1999 and 2004, nor another "anti-EU" mood among Citizens, as in the 2005 French and Dutch "No", followed by the 2008 Irish "No", without endangering rare Historic opportunities, currently open for the EU, whose future is at stake.

From Social issues up to High-Tech Scientific Research, concrete action for Economic revival started from Strasbourg and its European dimension, for the new super-Minister Patrick Devedjian, who visited a Popular Social Housing and Infrastructure project at nearby Hagenau village, before meeting new leaders of Strasbourg's unified mega-University in a Scientific Labo at the Campus, close to EU Parliament and CoE headquarters.

Devedjian, who met also with all the spectrum of Local Political  deciders of Alsace region, close to FrancoGerman borders, wants for deeds to meet the words, in real practice, whenever politicians speak about Strasbourg and Europe's development.

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Devedjan to "EuroFora" : "European coordination can act as a multiplicator by mutual stimulations"
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Devedjian was questioned by "Euro-Fora" on his expectations for reciprocal effects of coordinated European plans :

- "We are living in a (European and Global) system where borders are transparent : When we take measures in France, they produce effects also in Germany, in Belgium, Italy, Spain, or other EU countries, and vice-versa. "So, we can have mutually stimulating effects between national revival Plans, if they are somehow coordinated", ..."They can augment each other's effects, acting as multiplicators and levers". "As a State stimulates Local authorities and Private business, similarly, each EU country's economic revival plan may multiply the effects of other EU countries' actions", he told us.

- "F.ex., when I visited Strasbourg University's Scientific labos, they told me that part of the renovation, funded by France, is realized by German companies located only a few Kms away from the border. Thus, the French revival plan benefits also the German economy. And vice-versa : when Germany takes certain measures, they can have beneficial effects also for French companies"

In an era of Globalisation, "nobody can close and isolate himself inside a Fish-Bowl !", he concluded.
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Economy's revival starts from Strasbourg and Europe, for new French Minister Devedjian
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This could be one of the reasons for which the new French Minister for Economic Stimulus chose to make his 1st visit to Strasbourg, the headquarters of European and Paneuropean Institutions, in the Franco-German river borders at the heart of Europe.

- "It was President Sarkozy's idea", he revealed, adding also fresh "support to Strasbourg's European vocation, not only with words, but also with deeds" :F.ex., the completion of a High-Speed Train network, due to stimulate fast links with Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary and other central EU Countries.

- "This Crisis is Unjust for Europe, because it wasn't its fault". The greatest part of the "Crisis was imported from the USA, where problems are deeper than here'', in the EU. The Crisis "wasn't due to a bad managment by Europe", who was affected by problems which emerged elsewhere. That's why Europe must be united and active enough to face this challenge. said Devedjian, who has just won +5% in popularity...

- "I hope that there will be an "Obama-effect" also on Economy, and that the Plan of the New American President will be substantial enough to face this crisis, which is worse in the USA than in our area", Europe, he added.

"Economic Revival overcomes political divisions : F.ex. Strasbourg's Socialist Mayor "Ries agreed that State actions funded by Public Debt are justified during such exceptional circumstances", noted the Center-Right republican Minister.

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"Zeitnot" for 2009 EU Elections ?

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"My problem is Time", stressed Devedjian from the outset, at Strasbourg's University. "I have to engage 75% of funds in 2009, out of a total of 29 Billion euros", he explained later. "Monitoring will be of essence", because we must "avoid bureaucracy or delays. No project should get lost or neglected in complex meanders of adminstrative offices' moving sands", he warned.

- "I must create activities in the middle of the Crisis", he added. Questioned by EuroFora whether he aims to start creating some "hopes before the June 2009 EU Elections", Devedjian, a former leader of the Governing Political Party in France: UMP, did not immediately reply, but revealed, later, that he "hoped to start at least some Projects on May 2009, even if the bulk of Revival Plan's effects are "expected from Autumn 2009".

However, with only 30% of EU Citizens currently aiming to cast a vote at the forthcoming EU Elections on June, (See other NewStory), the  coordinated moves' results are expected to be crucial for Citizens' participation and votes at the forthcoming June 2009 EU Elections throughout all 27 EU Member Countries...Thus, it's vital for all Europe's own Future that coordinated national Economic revival plans start to have concrete results and create hopes for new dynamics before the June 2009 EU Election...

A real challenge, since careful choices are needed : Our aim is to fund projects which "create activities", even "in the middle of the crisis", and have a "lever effect, attracting other investments", Devedjian said. Because the "Stimulus' Plan has 2 aims : A Tactical one : to create New Activities. And a Strategic one : Choose what can become efficient and useful also in the Long-term". 

- "Are you ready ?", he asked Strasbourg University's new President, professor Alain Beretz, with some 700 million euros in his pockets for Education-Research in France. - "We are !", he replied.

- "The Minister's initiative can accelerate funds, and Time is important for us. This concerns the entire renovation of all our buildings", said to "EuroFora" President, Beretz. "I showed some Scientific Research Labos to Mr. Devedjian. But, If we had more time, I could show him also some Education Amphis, whose condition needs to meet Strasbourg's new Mega-University's ambition" to reach the 10 best in the World, as Prime Minister Fillon earlier anounced here.

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(Devedjian kicks off his Economic Revival tour from Strasbourg University, meeting with its new chairman Beretz, at Scientific Institute Le Bel) 

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Regional Prefectures should gather and select projects to be presented for decision before the end of January 2009.

A well-known close friend of President Sarkozy, who succeeded as EU Chairman to launch, in agreement with German chancelor Merkel and even British prime minister Brown, vigorous EU actions against the Financial/Economic Crisis, (starting from the 1st Historic Summit of EuroZone's Heads of State/Government, October 12 at Elysee Palace, followed by Washington G20 Global Summit), Devedjan will have a key role in the realisation of National and EU plans recently agreed in Brussels.

President Sarkozy is expected to arrive himself in Strasbourg, on the occasion of the official inauguration of its brand New Mega-Hospital, on the 9th of January 2009, at the eve of EU Parliament's session here, Elysee confirmed shortly after Devedjian's visit.

EU is due to review its economic revival plans at March 2009 EU Council in Prague, before the April 2 London Global Summit.

***

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Multi-facet concrete activities at focus : Stimulus Minister Devedjian at the Political, Social and High-Tech fronts in Strasbourg...

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