The Israel Prisons Service (IPS) has installed additional CCTV cameras and increased the number of senior wardens overseeing youth wards, following the alleged gang-rape and abuse of S., a 17-year-old American-Israeli being held temporarily at the Kishon Prison near Haifa last November.
“As part of the lessons learned, and in order to improve supervision in wards that hold minors, additional cameras have been installed in yards,” IPS spokesman Yaron Zamir told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
“This is happening not only in Kishon, but in every prison which houses minors. Supervision is being increased to monitor what is taking place,” Zamir added.
Wardens are undergoing special training to
increase their awareness of potential abuse, Zamir said.
“The issue of teenagers in custody is dealt with continuously, with a view to providing the best treatment under the best conditions,” he continued.
Noting that the trial of three minors suspected of assaulting S. was still under way, Zamir said he “could not be unequivocal,” but added, “I can say that every incident or suspicion of such an incident is taken with the utmost seriousness.”
During a special session held by the Knesset’s Interior Affairs
Committee last month to discuss S.’s case, the head warden of the
Prisons Service’s Northern District, Michael Halfon, said a committee
of inquiry headed by two senior wardens had been set up to look into
Attorney Moran Kablo of the Israel Bar Association, whom the Public
Security Ministry appointed to monitor the state of prisons, said
during the meeting, “There is no separation between youths according to
the types of offenses they carried out, in jails across the country,
and this is a very severe problem. The conditions of imprisonment are
quite shameful, and there is violence against youths.”