Strengthening the Management, Operation and Oversight of Civil Prisons Administered by the Palestinian Authority 

Project Status: Completed

Project Duration: 02/03/2009 - 31/01/2011

Total Budget: US$ 1,829,500

Donors: Canada (DFAIT/START)


The Ministry of Interior

The Palestinian Civil Police

The Department of Correction and Rehabilitation Centers

Target Groups

Civil Prisons administered by the Palestinian National Authority.

Outline and Objectives

This project sought to provide assistance in strengthening the management and operations of civil prisons administered by the Palestinian Authority. Representing the first phase of a longer term UNODC programme, the project established important foundational blocks for further advancements to take place in the General Administration of Reform and Rehabilitation Centers (DCRC) and created a strong momentum towards future reform efforts. More specifically, the project focused on five key components:

  • Increasing compliance with both national and international regulatory frameworks through general and specialized prison staff training;
  • Development of an IT-based prisoner file management system and training in strategic planning, resulting in the adoption of a DCRC Strategic Plan and a bolstered capacity for evidence-based decision-making;
  • Increased operational guidance for prison officers in compliance with both national and international frameworks through drafting of prison regulations;
  • Improved quality of health conditions and medical care in Reform and Rehabilitation Centers (RRCs) through training and the procurement of relevant equipment; and
  • Promotion of rehabilitation and vocational training for inmates through initiation of pilot workshops in selected Reform and Rehabilitation Centers.

The project adopted a capacity-building approach, the lack of which, together with infrastructural constraints, stands in the way of a coherent application of the Unite Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners in RRCs.

Key Achievements

  1. Facilitated and supported drafting of a DCRC Strategic Plan in close coordination with DCRC, embedded in a series of 3 Strategic Planning workshops.
  2. Hosted and provided further guidance on the discipline of strategic planning in the context of  working group sessions with DCRC.
  3. Facilitated DCRC-led stakeholder consultation meetings with both national and international relevant stakeholders for validation of draft Strategic Plan.
  4. Road-map for developing tailor-made, IT-based, prisoner file management system developed and agreed upon.
  5. Thirty DCRC officers trained in data collection and information management.
  6. DCRC officers in charge of piloting the system trained in using the newly developed IT application.
  7. Endorsement of the pilot IT application through DCRC senior management following system presentation.
  8. IT equipment required for the application procured and installed in Ramallah RRC and DCRC HQ to initiate the pilot phase.
  9. At least 20 DCRC officers and other key stakeholders trained on drafting techniques and best practices with regards to prison regulations/standing orders.
  10. Sixteen prison regulations drafted on subject areas identified as priorities by DCRC.
  11. Eight selected DCRC officers trained to serve as trainers for their peers.
  12. Three tailor-made training manuals for DCRC trainers developed and contextualized.
  13. Regional knowledge-sharing on training in the context of a prison administration facilitated through study visit to Jordan.
  14. A minimum of 50 DCRC officers trained in the content of the UNODC/DCRC Training Manual (3 modules).
  15. Twenty five senior prison officers trained on prison management.
  16. Twenty five DCRC, Military Medical Services and other relevant officers trained on psycho-social needs of prisoners.
  17. Availability of a needs and feasibility assessment study on suitable vocational and rehabilitation programmes in selected RRCs.
  18. Two rehabilitation programmes are in place: i) A tailoring workshop for female inmates in Jenin RRC; and ii) A bakery workshop for male inmates in Nablus RRC. The relevant equipment / ingredients have been procured and delivered to the respective prisons.
  19. Fifteen DCRC officers trained in best practices regarding rehabilitation programmes.
  20. DCRC officers further familiarized with practical examples of vocational and rehabilitation programme during study visit to Jordanian prison administration.
  21. Availability of general assessment report on overall healthcare conditions in RRCs.
  22. Availability of specialised assessment report on conditions and needs regarding HIV/AIDS vulnerability and drug abuse in RRCs.
  23. Healthcare capacity among DCRC staff strengthened in all RRCs, strengthened through first aid courses (basic) and training on first aid response to medical emergencies (advanced).
  24. Preventive healthcare and medical equipment procured and installed in RRCs / RRC clinics.