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Custodial Rules of Juveniles

The Child Protection Law requires juveniles detained by law enforcement agencies to be kept in special rooms, separate from detained adults. The use of handcuffs on juveniles is prohibited by the law. Juveniles have the right to be visited by family members while they are in detention.

โ€œThe Law on The Execution of Penalties and Security Measures (LEPSM)โ€ regulates juvenile execution institutes. These institutions conduct education and training for minors between 12 and 18 years old.

Juveniles serve their sentences in closed juvenile penal execution institutions and reformatories. Juveniles between 12 and 18 years old are sheltered in these institutions and should be separated according to their gender and level of physical development. These institutions must contain classrooms, a library, a separate cafeteria, a kitchen, a laundry room, and therapy rooms (Yhcel 2016). In Turkey there are only three closed penal execution institutions for juveniles in Ankara, Izmir, and Istanbul (Yhcel 2016).

Reformatories are institutions where convicted minors are educated in order to achieve social integration. These institutions have no barriers against escape; the security of these institutions is provided by internal security personnel. In case of attending an education or training program within or outside the institution minors may be allowed to stay in these facilities after they turn 18, and until they are 21 years of age, so that they may complete their education and training. There are two reformatories in Turkey, one in Ankara and one Izmir. The capacity of these institutions is between 100 and 250 minors (Akyhz 2013). Recently, a UNICEF report stated that neither the number nor the quality of the reformatories is adequate. As a result, some minors are sent to prisons instead of reformatories (Coban 2016).

Rehabilitation and education programs must be made available to arrested and convicted juveniles. These programs must follow the laws and conventions that regulate the rights of juvenile arrestees and convicts, such as the right to have medical services, education, self-improvement, the right to demand information, communicate with their families, stay separate from adult convicts, etc. However, it is questionable whether in reality juveniles are able to use their rights. For instance, it has been observed that the right to have medical services is not offered properly, and that routine medical services are not always available due to the lack of enough healthcare personnel. Another issue is the implementation of the right to receive an education. Arrested juveniles who are in a closed penal execution institutions are not able to continue their education

Juveniles must be hosted in penal execution institutions according to their age, gender, and level of physical development. However, in some cases when there is no juvenile execution institution available, juveniles may stay in a separate section of an adult execution institution. It has been observed that sometimes adults are sheltered in the same sections as the juveniles and use them to run their own errands (Berktin 2010).

Unfortunately all the concerns mentioned in this section have not been solved yet and it is of the utmost importance to develop new policies focused on the best interest of juveniles.

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