The "Neve Tirtsa" Prison
The prison was established in 1968, and is the only incarceration facility in Israel designated for women. The prison is designed to hold about 220 female prisoners. Currently, a third of the prisoners there have been jailed for their involvement in terrorist activities.
The population of the women in the prison is complex and requires special treatment from all factors involved:
About 60% of the prisoners are mothers, and so the detachment from their children is very difficult.
Many prisoners come from a background of neglect and drug use.
Pregnant prisoners, who give birth during their incarceration, care for their babies within the prison. At the age of two, the child is taken out of the prison and placed in a framework arranged for him by the welfare services, in order to allow him normal development in a normative environment. The prison also operates a daycare and employs a nurse for morning hours, so that the mothers can work or study.
A multi-professional staff is in charge of providing the inmates with corrective tools, which operates on several levels simultaneously:
Education: The formal educational framework offered by the prison contains classes at various levels of education, starting from basic education and ending with high-school education. The informal education system offers the prisoners the opportunity to attend various classes and lectures and participate in various shows and projects which take place within the prison. The vast educational activities serve as fertile ground for the prisoners' growth and development, and also help raise their self-esteem.
Therapy: Social therapy is provided, both personally and in a group forum, with particular focus on issues relevant to the prisoners: emotional support for maintaining mental balance and corrective tools to help prepare them for life outside the prison. The prison contains a special ward for inmates who wish to undergo drug rehabilitation.
Employment: Professional training provides the inmates with an opportunity to obtain a profession and develop work habits. The prison employs a number of entrepreneurs who come in and offer the prisoners paying jobs, which allows them to make creative use of their free time. In addition, the prison also offers computer courses.
Medical: The prison provides the prisoners with medical services in the following fields: General medicine, dentistry, gynecology, pediatrics, sanitation, and preventive medicine.