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Breakthrough in parole conditions

Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar; Photo credit: Honenu

Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar; Photo credit: Honenu

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 19:44 Human rights triumphed over the bureaucracy of the Prison Service. A resident of Yehuda and Shomron has been released from prison to house arrest after his sentence was reduced by a third due to good behavior. He must wear an electronic handcuff and is under electronic surveillance. The release was granted despite the many difficulties and delays presented by the Prison Service, the Attorney General’s office and other authorities who strongly oppose releasing residents of Yehuda and Shomron to house arrest on condition of electronic handcuffs. The released prisoner is a young man who was detained about four years ago with several other youths on suspicion of committing price tag misdemeanors. The youth confessed and was convicted of several of the misdemeanors attributed to him. In preparation for the completion of his sentence the Prison Service Parole Board ruled on his early release on condition of surveillance and a rehabilitative program designed by the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority. During the deliberations Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar, who represented the youth, agreed to the release conditions of an electronic handcuff, electronic surveillance and a rehabilitative program recommended by the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority. The Parole Board ordered the Prison Service to examine those conditions and if they were found to be effective, then the youth would be released. Several days later the Prison Service responded that because the prisoner resides in the areas of Yehuda and Shomron, his release to house arrest is not an option. According to the police document that the Prison Service presented, because a police escort must accompany the surveillance crew that supplies electronic handcuffs, each time that they enter Yehuda and Shomron, and coordinating such an escort takes 24 hours, effective surveillance of the prisoner will be impossible. During deliberations Keidar criticized the Prison Service for their viewpoint and stated that in an area in which tens of thousands of Jews reside in dozens of communities, it is unacceptable to say that effective surveillance is impossible: “We allow thousands of citizens to travel freely without a police escort, but an inspector says that he will enter only with a police escort. The police objected [to providing an escort] and said that they have other tasks. It could be that that they can, and it could be that they can’t. This community [the prisoner’s residence] is not an isolated hilltop. It is located in an cluster of communities.” Afterwards the Prison Service raised several more technical reasons for not releasing the prisoner to house arrest with an electronic handcuff. However, under the guidance of the Parole Board, the electronic handcuff unit examined the various technical details and found that there is nothing preventing implementation of the electronic handcuff. Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar, who represented the prisoner: “I welcome the breakthrough achieved with the assistance of the Parole Board and the district court. This is truly something that in normal times would not be something that would astound and excite us, but in these troubled times it is an important and relevant decision for two reasons. First of all, every prisoner is worthy of rehabilitation, even a security prisoner. The second reason is the unsuccessful attempt to deny legally prescribed electronic handcuffs in Yehuda and Shomron, as if those regions are out of bounds. Also, the efforts of the Attorney General’s office ended in defeat, and I welcome that.”

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