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NEWS | March 15, 2010

U.S. turns Taji detention facility over to Iraqi government

By Scott Harris , U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The Theater Internment Reconciliation Facility Center is a detainment center that provides inmates with an environment where they can learn new skills and educate themselves to help their families and be productive citizens when they get released.

The Theater Internment Reconciliation Facility Center is a detainment center that provides inmates with an environment where they can learn new skills and educate themselves to

TAJI, Iraq (March 15, 2010) — A new concept in Iraq's corrections system officially became a reality with the turn-over of the Theater Internment Facility Reconciliation Center (TIFRC) in Taji March 15. The TIFRC is essentially a detainment center with a goal to provide inmates with an environment where they can learn new skills and educate themselves to help their families and be productive citizens when they are released.

Construction of the TIFRC was managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region District Resident Office based in Taji, Iraq. Additional projects associated with construction of the TIFRC included the construction of a new entry control point for the facility and on-site housing for Iraqi Corrections Officers. 

Until now, the TIFRC has been operated by U.S. forces who have been actively training and mentoring Iraqi Corrections Officers in preparation for the transition to the Iraqi Ministry of Justice. "Only a small amount of training remains in order to conduct a responsible security transition for the exterior of the facility," according to Maj. Brett Conaway, operations officer for the 211th Military Police Battalion. "U.S. forces will remain in an outside over watch capacity for a short period to complete the final transition and facilitate the contract oversight."   
   
The facility consists of 260 general population cells and a special housing unit that can house up to 5000 detainees. More importantly, the facility includes classrooms, vocational-tech, and a textile mill for training detainees for eventual re-integration into society. Support facilities include a medical center, parole office, judge's chambers, in-processing, a Military Working Dog kennel and a family visitation center.

"This particular project is unique in that it provides facilities for the rehabilitation of detainees," said Lt. Col. Richard Pratt, the deputy commander for Gulf Region District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq. "The focus of this facility goes far beyond simply detaining inmates. It provides another chance for inmates to be reintegrated into society where they can provide for their families and function as responsible citizens," he said.

The transfer ceremony was attended by several high-ranking officials from U.S. Forces Iraq including Maj. Gen. David E. Quantock, the deputy commanding general for detainee operations, Maj. Gen. Nelson Cannon, the oncoming deputy commanding general for detainee operations, Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the chief of staff, Brig. Gen. Jim Keffer, the director for J2 and Brig. Gen. Kendall P. Cox, the director for J7. Other attending officials included Brig. Gen. Donald Currier, commander of the 49th Military Police Brigade and Dara Nour al-Deen, Iraq Minister of Justice. Lt. Col. Richard Pratt attended on behalf of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region District (GRD).

The total contract value for the project was $70 million. The contractor for the project was ALMCO Company.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq has completed thousands of reconstruction projects in partnership with the Government of Iraq.
Since 2004, USACE has completed 5,257 projects throughout Iraq valued at more than $9.1 billion, and has more than 250 projects ongoing. The overall reconstruction effort in Iraq currently provides jobs for more than 20,000 Iraqis.