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Iraqi Correctional Service (ICS)

The Iraqi Correctional Service falls under the authority of the Ministry of Justice [MOJ]. It is tasked with providing prison security. It is also tasked with ensuring the welfare and security of prisonners and detainees. Members of the Iraqi Correctional Service wear white shirts for uniforms. They are equipped with AKs and pistols, and Prisoner escort vehicles. They are pais according to a civil pay scale. The total strength of the Iraqi Correctional Service was initially expected to reach a final figure of 10,000 by 2005.

By law the MOJ has full control and authority over all detention facilities, except for those administered by the MOD for military justice purposes. This law was not fully implemented, however, and four separate ministries--the MOJ, MOI, MOD, and MOLSA--continued to operate detention facilities. KRG social welfare authorities operated prisons in the KRG, and KRG security authorities operated pretrial detention facilities. KRG internal security forces and KRG intelligence services operated separate detention facilities as well. Kurdish authorities operated eight detention facilities that combined pretrial and postconviction housing and eight additional internal security pretrial detention facilities.

Although the government had not yet provided adequate resources (personnel, supplies, equipment, and facilities) to the MOJ for it to assume complete control over all detention operations throughout the country, there was progress in transferring MOD detainees to MOJ detention facilities. The country's fractured penal structure, in which the MOJ held convicts and the MOJ, MOI, and to a lesser extent the MOD, hold detainees complicated detention and prison operations. For example, the MOJ oversaw day-to-day operations in the Baghdad prison formerly known as Camp Honor, but another agency controlled outside access to the facility, resulting in the denial of family member access to detainees.

At the end of 2010, there were 12 MOJ prisons and 11 MOJ pretrial detention facilities. MOI detention facilities comprise an estimated six Federal Police facilities and 294 Iraqi Police facilities. There are an estimated 1,200 smaller MOI police holding stations throughout the country managed, staffed, and operated by the Federal Police, Iraqi Police Services, Criminal Investigations Division, and the National Investigative and Information Agency. Although there were no independently verified statistics, it was estimated that the MOI facilities held as many as 8,000 pretrial detainees.

The MOD operated 27 Iraqi army pretrial detention centers for detainees captured during military raids and operations. There were reports of unofficial detention centers throughout the country. The MOD lacked the legal authority to detain civilians and was required to transfer detainees to MOI or MOJ facilities within 24 hours. In May 2009 the MOD began transferring its civilian detainees to MOJ custody.

The MOJ is the only government entity with the legal authority to hold, care for, and guard posttrial detainees. The total capacity of MOJ's Iraqi Corrections Service (ICS) facilities was 26,469 beds for men (not including emergency capacity) and 553 beds for women. The total number of prisoners in the ICS was 25,020, 43 percent of whom were pretrial detainees.

In MOI and MOD detention facilities, conditions and treatment of detainees were generally reported as poor. Despite limited resources and funds, MOJ detention facilities provided detainees with better treatment and living conditions than MOI and MOD detention facilities. Medical care in MOJ's ICS prisons in some locations exceeded the community standard. ICS personnel made significant progress in meeting internationally accepted standards for prisoner needs. The MOJ is responsible for training ICS guards and correctional executive management staff, providing the facilities with necessary supplies and equipment, addressing overcrowding, facilitating case processing, and providing prison rehabilitation programs.

The ICS internal affairs department monitored abuse or violations of prisoners' human rights. Allegations of abuse resulted in the disciplining of ICS officers in some cases. During the year there were seven allegations that ICS staff abused detainees.

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Page last modified: 12-01-2012 18:11:28 ZULU