The U.S. military says it is taking steps to alleviate conditions at the Iraqi-run city jail in Fallujah after recent visitors found a filthy, overcrowded facility where prisoners had to provide their own food. The episode demonstrates how far Iraq’s judicial and penal institutions still have to go under U.S. tutelage before they meet minimally acceptable standards.
Lt. Col. Michael Callanan told United Press International that shortly after an inspection of the jail by the new commander of coalition forces in western Iraq, Marine Maj. Gen. John Kelly, U.S. forces had stepped in to “advise and assist” the Iraqis with the management of the jail.
Callanan, the point man for the U.S. military on rule-of-law issues in Anbar province, which includes Fallujah, told UPI in a phone interview Monday that cash from a special commander’s contingency fund known as CERP was being used to provide food in the jails in Fallujah and in the provincial capital Ramadi.
“They are being fed now,” said Callanan of the prisoners, who until recently had to provide their own food or starve.
Iraqi contractors had been hired to feed “the majority of the prisoners” in both city jails.