Grantee profile


Founded in 2006, the Civil Society in the Penal System Association (CISST) works for the protection of the rights and liberties of prisoners across Turkey. The organisation was set up with the specific aim of defending the rights of both political and non-political prisoners,. Over the years, CISST has developed a particular focus on the rights of prisoners with special needs. These include women, disabled prisoners, LGBTI+ , foreign nationals and those with health problems. CISST advocates at national and international levels, submitting reports and advising parliamentary committees and MPs on legislative reforms, while also providing information on conditions in prison. The organisation has also set up a Support Centre that provides a variety of forms of help, including: a helpline and a team of experts who corresponds with prisoners to advise them on legal and practical issues; a network of voluntary lawyers who provide legal advice, and perform prison visits to investigate complaints and help prisoners report violations; and the publications of handbooks to inform prisoners of their rights.