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World's Most Dangerous Prison

NCJ Number
Corrections Technology & Management Volume: 6 Issue: 4 Dated: July/August 2002 Pages: 20-25
Sam Katz
Date Published
July 2002
6 pages
This article describes the facility, regimen, and staffing of Israel's Megiddo Prison, which is a maximum-security facility that houses some of the world's most lethal terrorists, masterminds of hostage-taking incidents and suicide bombings.
Megiddo Prison is the only Military Police detention facility dedicated solely to security offenders. Megiddo Prison was not planned to be a permanent facility, but rather as a temporary detention facility for those awaiting trial or serving terms less than 5 years. It began managing high-risk prisoners captured by the Israeli military in the summer of 1982 during the invasion of Lebanon. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is responsible for all daily operations inside military courts and prisons. Force 100 is the sole Military Police combat unit and a unique special operations unit of the IDF. It is also the only special operations unit in the IDF that is deployed at one facility. Force 100's primary missions include deployment as an emergency response force inside the prison, as an intervention unit to prevent a disturbance or to rescue a prisoner being beaten or stabbed, and as a counterassault force to oppose any hostile threat on the prison. Other tasks are to augment the guard force at the prison at times of heightened security during inmate counts, as well as to conduct searches of the inmates and the facility for contraband, to secure the visitor's area and inmate transport facilities, and to supervise any activity inside the prison that involves five or more inmates. Force 100 is also responsible for security at the military court inside the prison. The chance that a prisoner will attempt to take the prosecutor or a judge hostage is considered one of the most likely scenarios; and the unit trains constantly to resolve such a scenario. The Force 100 philosophy is that any assault on a besieged location must be met with a show of massive force strategically deployed.