Significant improvement. The private prison
Photo: Haim Horenstein
Plans to establish the first private prison in Israel, which was thwarted by the Supreme Court, will cost Israel's economy some NIS 220 million ($ 58 million).
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on Wednesday announced during the Israel Prison Service (Shabas) annual conference that the jail will be annexed to the Israel Prison Service. According to estimates, the Finance Ministry will deliver the needed funds for the purchase in the upcoming weeks.
Aharonovitch said that his ministry and the Finance Ministry were working on transferring the private prison to the hands of the Israel Prison Service. "In light of the Supreme Court's decision, all efforts are being made to hand over the facility's operations to the Israel Prison Service. The facility will serve as a modern and suitable addition to the organization.
"I can declare that the Finance Ministry has concluded its work with us and the annexation will be made in the upcoming weeks," the minister said.
Sources at the Israel Prison Service told Ynet that the new facility will add 800 prison cells. "It will allow us to absorb more prisoners and upgrade their living conditions," one of the sources said.
Minister Aharonovitch added that "we will also need to make plans for the next few years, but there is no doubt that these jailing units are a vital addition; it is another step in the struggle to increase enforcement capabilities.
"I stand here before you – Israel's moral compass. The State of Israel is measured relatively to its citizens, and with direct correlation to its treatment of prisoners. Therefore we are in need of the best facilities possible," he said.
A source close to the minister estimated that purchasing the new facility, built by AFI Group and Minrav Holdings will cost around NIS 220 million. "After the purchase is complete, we will be able to transfer the management to the hands of the Israel Prison Service and allow for a significant improvement to the prisoners and wardens' conditions," said the source.