Gov´t ordered to reveal where convicts perform community service(HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Yaniv Kubovich 06/22/12)
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The Israel Prison Service and Social Affairs Ministry will be
required to reveal the list of institutions and agencies to which
people who are sentenced to community service are sent, according to
a court order issued following a petition by Haaretz.
In rendering his decision, Central District Court Judge Ilan Shiloh
wrote that the public has a right to know the conditions under which
people were serving community service sentences. He said the
disclosure would allow the public to ascertain whether the offenders
were well-matched to the places where they perform their services,
and to gain insight into how the ministry and prison services are
distributing their resources.
The types of institutions who accept people sentenced to public
service include hospitals and soup kitchens. The types of duties they
perform could include cleaning, maintenance work and transporting
patients within hospitals.
The prison service and the Social Affairs Ministry rejected Haaretz´s
initial request for information about where those sentenced to public
service were sent and what type of work they were required to do.
The prison service claimed that revealing this information could make
the agencies and institutions subject to threats or offers of bribes,
and that many of the agencies on the list preferred to remain
The Social Affairs Ministry said it had no permanent list to present
and also indicated that revealing the identities of the agencies
would compromise their willingness to be part of the program. It said
this could "harm the very possibility of punishment though community
service, which would increase overcrowding in prisons, thus punishing
The court was critical of the reasons given for not providing the
list, including the claim that the institutions would be ashamed to
admit that convicts work for them.
The court also said that the concerns over leaving the agencies and
institutions open to bribes or threats were not based on facts and
were not justified, especially considering the public´s right to know
about and to oversee the process of community service. (© Copyright
2012 Ha´aretz 06/22/12)
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