CAMP CROPPER, Iraq, July 16, 2010 — The last major U.S.-run detention facility in Iraq officially was transferred to the Iraqi government here today.
Army Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon, U.S. Forces Iraq deputy commanding general for detainee operations and provost marshal general, joined Iraqi government officials in signing the transfer documents for the Cropper Theater Internment Facility.
“The transfer of the Cropper Theater Internment facility is a major milestone along the democratic journey of self-determination and reliance for the government of Iraq,” Cannon said. “Success is not only measured in the security gains, but in the enhanced capability and capacity of the ministries. Our continued partnership with the Ministry of Justice has enabled the transfer of detainees in a safe and orderly manner to the Iraqi correctional service in accordance with the security agreement.”
The Cropper facility houses about 1,500 detainees being held on Iraqi government arrest warrants, detention orders or convictions. U.S. forces had used the facility for the care and custody of detainees since April 2003. It can hold up to 4,000 prisoners.
Cannon said the transfer has set the stage for the continued success of Iraq’s correctional service and the justice ministry.
“Conditions have been set with a trained force and with modern, functional and well-built facilities that will last for years to come,” he said.
“We would like to thank our American friends for delivering Cropper prison to the Ministry of Justice,” Iraqi Justice Minister Dura Nur al-Deen said. “After strengthening the security and stability of our country, the Iraqi government will be taking over the responsibility and administration of areas related to national security, including the Iraqi Corrections Service, detention facilities and prisons.”
The facility, renamed as Karkh Prison, is manned by about 700 Iraqi corrections officers and about 100 support staff members. It features $48 million in infrastructure investments, including six detainee compounds, a family visitation center and supply buildings, as well as a tactical operations center, dining facility and logistics support area for the corrections officers.
Contracts totaling $50.2 million, covering services such as power, water and waste management, already are in place to support detention operations through December, officials said.
“This is the first day of a new era, one in which all elements of the Iraqi criminal justice system are able to assert their role in providing for the continued safety and security of the Iraqi people,” Cannon said.
The facility is the third and final major detention facility transferred to Iraqi control or closed within the last year. The Camp Bucca detention facility closed in September 2009, and the detainees were transferred to the Taji Theater Internment Facility and Reconciliation Center and to Cropper. On March 30, The Taji center was transferred to the Iraqi government.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)