Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR
Although senior inmates in Turkey have received COVID-19 vaccines, in reality, all prisoners are exposed to high risk and should be inoculated, the Association of Civil Society in the Correctional System (CISST) noted in a series of demands recently released.
It's safe to assume that the 4,580 senior inmates in the Turkish correctional system have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, CISST's Berivan Korkut said, noting that they haven't received complaints about vaccinations from inmates over 65.
“It's great that senior inmates are inoculated but we can't say anything definitive about chronically ill prisoners, as we lack data on the demographic," Korkut said.
The association doesn't have information about when all inmates in Turkey will be vaccinated, Korkut said, even though the correctional system was located in the second phase of the Health Ministry's priority list.
"We think that the Health Ministry was referring to correctional system employees, but we were told that workers haven't all been inoculated yet either," Korkut noted.
Non-governmental organizations working with the correctional system think that all inmates should be vaccinated "in light of the mishaps and issues that arise in prisons," Korkut said.
Prison administrations should also be vigilant about enforcing narrowly tailored restrictions so as to not violate any inmates' human rights, CISST said in a series of demands.
Turkey's Justice Ministry said in March that the number of COVID-19 patients in prison totaled 240, and that none of the inmates were in need of intubation.