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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

Pisac ACM
20. 03. 2018.
coe_expert_professor_aebi__agg_eurofora_400


*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) :

 

coe_press_briefing_on_penal_stats_eurofora_400


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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% !  

 

 coe_stats__turkish_prisoners_rate_booms_eurofora_shot_400

 

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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 sarko_merkel_mieux

The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

smerkem_400

- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

***

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