Israel Prison Services is preparing for a variety of possible scenarios that will develop due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak in Israel. Assessments are being made on a daily basis as the situation in Israel continues to develop.
Acting Prison Commissioner Gondar Asher Vaknin issued a statement on Sunday morning during a video conference meeting of all commanding officers throughout the Prison System in Israel, stating that “Israel Prison Services is dealing with the single greatest crisis that it has dealt with since its inception. The steps that we have recently taken are in order to prevent the virus from entering one of our prison facilities.”
The most recent of these steps was the release of hundreds of prisoners to full house arrest in concordance with emergency regulation protocols. The release has been approved by the Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan and is awaiting the approval of the government.
“The staff of the Israel Prison Service is doing incredibly difficult work. We need to strengthen our lines, to contain the situation, to encourage our staff as the challenges that stand before us are complex and I need you all to work together with me for our success. It is important to clarify that we must be even more stringent than the regulations set forth by the Health Ministry. The release of prisoners to house arrest is being done in an effort to relieve the prisons and it is being metered in a method that will refrain from creating a problem within the community. I thank you and value your dedicated work in this trying time.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)