Israel Prison Service

  • Issue: June 2007
  • Stamp Size: 40 mm x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 683 (2 phosphor bar)
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: offset

The Israel Prison Service (IRS,) of the 21st century is a component of the country's security forces. It is responsible for holding prisoners and detainees in secure and appropriate custody, while preserving their dignity, attending to their needs, and providing them with skills that will enhance their ability to reintegrate in society upon their release.

Founded in May 1948 upon the establishment of the state, the Service began as a department of the Israel Police. Soon after, however, a decision was made to separate the Service from the police, and from January 1949 onward it has functioned as an independent body. The I.P.S. has 30 prison facilities spread out through the country, most of them modern and equipped with advanced security technologies.

The prison facilities hold over 24,000 security and criminal prisoners. Each prisoner is held in a security level appropriate to the seriousness of his/her crime and the extent of the danger he/she presents. Accordingly, the prisons are graded at different security levels, while maintaining a high overall level of protection, alongside providing education and training to prisoners who are receptive.

I.P.S. personnel

Some 7,000 personnel are responsible for the prisoners, namely: wardens and officers from various security services, soldiers from special operations units, social service and staff personnel, and soldiers in the regular army. These personnel must be capable of dealing with
difficulties must be emotionally robust, and must be good at human relations so as to foster reduced violence and determine humane solutions to the prisoner's needs and distress.

In addition to the personnel responsible for the prison facilities, a number of operations units operate in the I.P.S., namely: the Nahshon Unit, which accompanies prisoners transferred from one facility to another; the Dror Intelligence Unit, which traces and searches for drugs; and the Masada Unit, which specializes in dealing with emergency situations and hostage retrieval.

The Service offers wardens varied promotion tracks that present challenges and allow for gaining experience in many areas. Personnel are given supplementary field courses, academic training and professional courses which enrich their knowledge, provide them with new skills, and expose them to up-to-date approaches.


Therapy programs are conducted in the criminal prisons to assist prisoners in coping with their prison terms and to motivate them to alter their delinquent life style. The premise guiding the educational work of the I.P.S. is that each person has the ability to change and improve his/her life course, and that every opportunity must be offered to allow him/her to realize this inner potential.

Various literacy programs operate in the prisons, ranging from completing eight years of education to acquiring a high school education and a matriculation certificate. Additionally, prisoners attend group therapy workshops which help reduce violence and ease coping with the crises of imprisonment. Many prisoners join work programs in occupational plants operated in the prisons and learn new vocations that allow them to enter the civilian workforce once their sentences are completed.

Israel Prison Service

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Israel Prison Service