Today, the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut launched the U.S.-funded “Corrections Professionalization Program.” This program will continue for three years, and includes developing and implementing a system of inmate classification in addition to continuous training for corrections officers.
Following are Ambassador Richard’s remarks:
Thank you very much. Minister Raya el Hassan, Director General Osman, friends and colleagues.
It gives me great pleasure to join you today at ISF Headquarters to officially launch our new Corrections Professionalization Program with the ISF. I know that corrections is one of the priorities that the minister identified for us early on, and I am very happy to be here and help be supportive. This project will help you to lay the necessary foundation to improve security conditions and professionalism throughout the Lebanese Corrections System.
With this $2.5 million effort, the U.S. will work side-by-side with the ISF to develop and implement a system of inmate classification that will improve safety and security for both inmates and corrections officers. We will develop improved standardized operating procedures, incorporating – as you heard earlier – internationally recognized best practices. And we are going to continue to develop training to ensure these new practices are institutionalized in the ISF Prisons Directorate and the ISF Training Academy.
This project is yet another example of our strong partnership with Lebanon and our commitment to supporting its institutions. Over more than ten years of working together, we have provided training for thousands of your officers and delivered nearly $200 million in equipment and support to the ISF, one of our closest partners in the region. I would like to say that number is only a small part of the five and a half billion dollars we have invested in Lebanon in that same time period, but in the case of the ISF, the outcomes are tremendous.
The ISF is better, more professional, and more skilled today than it has ever been because of the dedication of its leadership and its officers. We are very proud of the strong and successful partnership we have with Lebanon and with the ISF, and of what we have achieved together. We look forward to continuing this partnership in the years ahead. Your efforts make Lebanon and the world a safer place. And we thank you.