Justice Ministry report slams prison conditions

Report says the Prisons Service lacks basic equipment, and that prisoners exposed at times to the effects of weather conditions.

August 17, 2011 05:48
1 minute read.
Illustrative photo

Prison jail generic. (photo credit: Courtesy)

A report released by the Public Defendant Department of the Justice Ministry slammed conditions in the country’s prisons, noting crowded cells that lack good ventilation and disproportionate punishments meted out to prisoners.

The report said the Prisons Service lacked basic equipment, and that prisoners were exposed at times to the effects of weather conditions. It also noted failures in providing proper medical treatment to prisoners and problems in allowing prisoners to meet with their families and their attorneys.

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According to the report, the Prisons Service is also not living up to its obligations to put prisoners through rehabilitation programs. The report said there were shortages in treatments designed to prevent repeat offenses after release and insufficient educational programs.

The report singled out the Hasharon Prison in central Israel due to an unusually high number of complaints and irregularities regarding punishments, lack of good hygiene, food and poor drinking water quality.

Responding to the report, the Prisons Service said certain measures like chaining prisoners were carried out when it was determined that they posed a danger to others or themselves, and were not punishments.

The Service rejected criticisms of its medical services, and said it was increasing facilities for the rehabilitation and education of prisoners.

It added that over the past three years, work has been underway to significantly improve living conditions in prisons.

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