Security Prisoner
Security Detainee
Administrative Detainee
Total
30.3.2009

The HCJ ordered the deletion of a petition submitted by HaMoked and ACRI, which sought the cancellation of a sweeping regulation prohibiting former prisoners from visiting prison facilities, unless they receive approval from the IPS Commissioner: The deletion came after the IPS admitted, before the Court, that the wording of the regulation was indeed overly broad, and made certain changes to the Prisons Ordinance

On 19 June 2006, HaMoked and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel submitted a petition against Regulation 30(A) of the Prisons Regulations, 5738-1978, which establishes that a former prisoner may not visit a prison facility without the approval of the Commissioner of the Israel Prison Service (IPS). The regulation imputes "presumed dangerousness" to all former prisoners, regardless of whether a specific suspicion  that a former prisoner's visit to jail would harm public peace or prison security  has been proven or not. In the petition, the organizations claimed that by implementing a broad and sweeping prohibition, which applies to every person previously held in IPS custody, the regulation fails to distinguish between those who served sentences for serious offences and those who were jailed for minor ones, as well as between convicts and individuals who were found innocent, or released without charge. The regulation also automatically applies to persons who served a sentence of community service. The petitioners claimed, inter alia, that the regulation is arbitrary, harms a person's right to dignity and circumvents the Criminal Register and Rehabilitation Law. This Law establishes that, as a rule, a criminal conviction which is invalid by virtue of the statute of limitations must not be used. The petition also claimed that the regulation disproportionately violates the basic rights of prisoners incarcerated in IPS facilities, who are entitled to receive visits by their loved ones.

At the conclusion of the hearing, which was held on 12 March 2009, the Court ordered the deletion of the petition, citing several of the changes which the IPS made to the Prisons Ordinance - changes which addressed the issue of former inmates' visits to prison facilities, such as: responding to former inmates' requests to visit prison facilities within 14 days; the State’s undertaking to ensure that former prisoners whose convictions had been deleted would no longer be considered former prisoners;  the State’s  undertaking to remove from the category of former prisoners anyone previously arrested and held for investigation only, without being charged six months after his release; the State's undertaking that anyone who was remanded in custody but not charged, would be required to submit requests in order to visit a prison, for a limited period of five years. 

mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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