Israel Prison Service
The Israel Prison Service (Hebrew: שירות בתי הסוהר, Sherut Batei HaSohar, Arabic: إدارة السجون الإسرائيلية, Idārat al-Sujūn al-Isrā’īlīyyah), commonly known in Israel by its acronym Shabas (שבס) or IPS in English, is the state agency responsible for overseeing prisons in Israel. It is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Public Security. In 2014, the IPS employed 8,800 workers.
- 1 History
- 2 Prisoners' rights
- 3 Privately run prisons
- 4 List of prisons and detention centers
- 5 Prison service training
- 6 Ranks
- 7 Special units
- 8 Commanders
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
In 2014, there were 33 correctional facilities, including five detention centers, housing a total of 25,000 prisoners. 60% were serving time for criminal offenses and 40% for security offences. In December 2011, there were 17,755 prisoners in Israel Prison Service facilities, including 307 administrative detainees held without trial. Of these detainees seventeen had been detained for between two and four and a half years. One had been detained for more than five years.
The conditions in Israeli prisons are reported to meet international standards. Prisoners are entitled to visits from their lawyers and family members, and security prisoners are allowed Red Cross visits. They have the right to file grievances about their conditions to the courts, the Israel Prison Service management and the Israel Police Unit for the Investigation of Prison Service Personnel. Prisoners who are married or in common-law relationships also have the right to conjugal visits.
Inmates who were not convicted of terror offenses also have the right to free university education; under a special education program in which they take online academic programs from the Open University of Israel, and their tuition is financed by prison authorities. This right was also allowed for imprisoned terrorists until 2011.
Prisoners are permitted to receive visitors, subject to occasional restrictions on visitors from enemy entities. Currently residents of the Gaza Strip are permitted to visit with the exception of children between the ages of 8 and 16. Prisoners are free to practice their religion, and permitted to submit petitions to judicial authorities if they are dissatisfied with prison conditions. IPS facilities, interrogation facilities and IDF provisional detention centers are regularly monitored by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Privately run prisons
The Knesset passed a law allowing private prisons in 2004, and plans for privately run prisons were introduced in 2006. The state hoped to save money by transferring prisoners to such facilities, which would eliminate the need to invest in more infrastructure and manpower. In 2009, the Israeli Supreme Court struck down the plans, ruling that private prisons are an unconstitutional violation of basic human rights. Following the decision, the state had to pay compensation to a company that had already completed construction of the first private prison, near Beersheba.
List of prisons and detention centers
- Carmel Prison (Oren Junction)
- Damon Prison (Rimon Junction)
- Gilbo'a Prison (HaShita Junction)
- Hermon Prison (North Tzalmon Creek Junction)
- Megiddo Prison (Megiddo Junction)
- Shita (Shata) Prison (HaShita Junction)
- Tzalmon Prison (North Tzalmon Creek Junction)
- Ashmoret Prison (HaSharon Junction)
- Ayalon Prison (Ramla)
- Giv'on Prison (Ramla)
- HaSharon Prison (Hadarim Interchange)
- Maasiyahu Prison (Ramla)
- Magen Prison (Ramla)
- Neve Tirtza Women's Prison (Ramla)
- Ofek Juvenile Prison (Even Yehuda)
- Ofer Prison (West Bank, between Ramallah/Beituniya and Giv'at Ze'ev)
- Rimonim Prison (Even Yehuda)
- Beersheba Prison (prison complex) in Beersheba?
- Dekel Prison
- Eshel Prison
- Ela Prison
- Ktzi'ot Prison (Ktzi'ot Junction)
- Nafha Prison (Mitzpe Ramon)
- Ramon Prison
- Saharonim Prison (Ktzi'ot Junction)
- Shikma Prison (Ashkelon)
- Eilat Detention Center
- Hadarim Detention Center
- Jerusalem Detention Center
- Kishon Detention Center
- Nitzan Detention Center
- Ohalei Kedar Detention Center
- Petah Tikva Detention Center
- Tel Aviv (Abu Kabir) Detention Center
Prison service training
The current ranks (circa 2007). Their military equivalent is shown in parentheses.
They wear their rank insignia on their upper sleeves.
- Soher – Warder
- Rav Soher – Chief Warder (Corporal)
- Samal – Sergeant
- Rav Samal – Chief Sergeant (Staff Sergeant)
They wear their rank insignia on their collars.
- Rav Samal Rishon – Chief Sergeant First Class (First Sergeant)
- Rav Samal Mitkadem – Master Chief Sergeant (Sergeant Major)
- Rav Samal Bakhir – Command Chief Sergeant (Command Sergeant Major)
- Rav Nagad – Chief NCO (Warrant Officer)
They wear their rank insignia on their epaulets or shoulderboards.
- Meyshar Mishne – Junior Inspector (2nd Lieutenant)
- Meyshar – Inspector (1st Lieutenant)
- Kalai – Superintendent (Captain)
- Rav Kalai – Chief Superintendent (Major)
- Sgan Gundar – Deputy Commissioner (Lieutenant Colonel)
- Gundar Mishne – Junior Commissioner (Colonel)
- Tat Gundar – Assistant Commissioner (Brigadier General)
- Gundar – Commissioner (Major General)
- Rav Gundar – Chief Commissioner (Lieutenant General) - Commander of the prison service.
Metzada (named after Masada) is IPS's quick response and intervention force and specializes in suppression of prisoner uprisings, especially in prisons containing Palestinian detainees. It consists mainly of special forces veterans from the IDF.
Nahshon is the IPS's main intervention and conveyance unit and deals with searches, silencing disturbances, guarding IPS staff, etc.
Yamar Dror, founded at the end of 1993, is the IPS unit for fighting narcotics. It specializes in searches and interrogation.
- Giri Gera (1949–1951)
- Ram Salomon (1951–1952)
- Zvi Hermon (1952–1958)
- Aryeh Nir (1958–1976)
- Haim Levi (1976–1981)
- Mordechai Wertheimer (1981–1985)
- Rafael Suissa (1985–1986)
- David Maimon (1986–1987)
- Levy Shaul (1987–1990)
- Gabi Amir (1990–1993)
- Aryeh Bibi (1993–1997)
- Amos Azani (1997–2000)
- Orit Adato (2000–2003)
- Ya'akov Ganot (2003–2007)
- Benny Kaniak (2007–2011)
- Aharon Franco (2011–date)
- "الهيئات التي تقع تحت مسؤولية وزارة ووزير الأمن الداخلي." Ministry of Public Security. Retrieved on 7 March 2011.
- Israel Prison Service. Ministry of Public Security. Retrieved on 7 March 2011.
- "Staff Statistics – Total Staff per Bloc" (in Hebrew). Israel Prison Service. Retrieved 2009-07-03.
- "שרות בתי הסוהר" (PDF). ips.gov.il.
- "US human rights report 2011". State.gov. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- "Foreign press tours of Israel's prisons". Highbeam.com. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- "Court: End of Free College for Terrorists - Defense/Security - News". Israel National News. 2012-12-25. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- "Israel continues to bar Gazan children from visiting fathers imprisoned in Israel". btselem.org.
- Zarchin, Tomer (2009-11-20). "International legal precedent: No private prisons in Israel". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- Kosti, Nir (July 17, 2009). "IPS Special Forces will Train (IDF) Guards". Bamahane (in Hebrew). No. 2997. p. 16.
- "Metzada Unit" (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- "Nahshon Unit" (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- Israel Behind Bars: True Stories of Hope And Redemption, ISBN 0-9776736-0-X, by Major (retired) Rabbi Fishel Jacobs.
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