Iraq — Iraq Takes Control of Last Major Detention Facility

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)