The Jericho Prison Project was launched in 2009 to meet the critical shortage of quality and effective prison facilities in the West Bank, particularly for female inmates.
The project is being implemented by UNOPS on behalf of the Government of the Netherlands and was designed by UNOPS in conjunction with the Palestinian National Authority.
|Construction of the Jericho prison underway / Photo by Nick Young|
The new prison will meet internationally recognized standards and requirements as well as matching local needs. The living conditions of the new 3,000m2 compound will allow for the humane and dignified treatment of up to 152 prisoners, with expansion plans for up to 250.
The finished prison includes inmate and staff dormitories, a classroom, medical area, library, dayrooms, extensive outdoor courtyards, horticultural areas and exercise facilities.
UNOPS was challenged to create a design that allows female inmates full movement and use of facilities, while providing privacy and separation from the male prisoners.
UNOPS worked together with the donor and beneficiary to design a facility with a range of facilities for women, including a separate dormitory for mothers with infants, three separate outdoor courtyard and garden areas, craft workshop facilities and a dedicated drug rehabilitation dormitory for women. Technical assistance was provided by the European Union Police Coordination Office for Palestinian Police Support.
All of these spaces are exclusively for the use of female inmates and are supervised solely by female wardens. Common facilities that are shared by both sexes include a library and a classroom, an extensive medical and dental treatment area, and a family visiting area.
The new Jericho Prison represents a significant improvement in terms of space and facilities available for the care and rehabilitation of female inmates in the West Bank.
|Computer generated design for the prison |
Works at the Jericho Prison site also use environmentally friendly building solutions throughout, including solar panels for heating water, a waste water treatment plant and thermally rated glass windows which reduce heat transfer. The prison also has external walls designed for the best possible insulation, as well as low cost ‘desert’ air-cooling systems that use water to lower the air temperature. These are less costly to operate than air conditioning for the complex.
Onsite health and safety project
In an effort to ensure safety on its construction sites, UNOPS developed onsite health and safety procedures for all workers and staff. The new personal protective measures, in line with internationally recognized safety procedures, have helped to save lives and substantially reduce injuries.
Prior to this new policy, UNOPS staff had witnessed poor safety conditions on most construction projects in the area, with workers generally not expected or required to wear protective equipment. UNOPS is now working hard to change these habits, and ensure adherence to safety rules on all project sites.
All construction workers, UNOPS staff, contracting companies or visitors to sites are now required to wear safety vests, helmets and protective boots. Safety rules are distributed to all personnel in Arabic and English with additional reminders posted onsite.
Achieving UNOPS contribution goals
During 2010-2013, four high-level contribution goals are defining the work of UNOPS. This project is working towards the first contribution goal: Rebuilding peace and stability after conflict.
It also complies with all three cross-cutting objectives: Gender equality and the empowerment of women, National capacity development and Environmental sustainability.