The Bos\’un Locker

During times of war and during times of peace, we must prepare for tomorrow with the realities of today.

Detainees Treated Fairly, Rehabilitated to Re-enter Iraqi Society

Posted by thebosun on February 26, 2008

Courtesy of Multi-National Force Iraq: Detainees Treated Fairly, Rehabilitated to Re-enter Iraqi Society

Staff Sgt. Gregory Smith, 535th Military Police Battalion, watches detainees below play a game of volleyball in the recreation yard from a catwalk at Camp Cropper, a Coalition Theater Internment Facility in western Baghdad, Feb. 19. Coalition forces are dedicated to providing the highest care and custody while supporting the efforts of the United Nations Security Council and the government of Iraq to maintain stability and security in the region.  Department of Defense photo by Spc. Michael V. May.

Detainees form a crowd inside the compound as the loud cheers and even louder jeers intensify. Guards on the catwalks above watch closely as the mob’s shouting reaches its peak. It’s over suddenly, and the participants trickle away in ones and twos, replaying the highlights of the afternoon’s volleyball game and already planning for the next.

Allowing detainees freedom – even fun – inside a detention facility may seem odd, but it is part of a strategic counterinsurgency tactic to engage detainees and separate violent individuals from the rest of the population. The goal is to create a safe and positive environment for successful detainee reintegration into Iraqi society.

Army Staff Sgt. Gregory Smith, 535th Military Police Battalion, is a Reservist military policeman and a civilian police officer from Nashville, Tenn. He works as the noncommissioned officer in charge of Compound Two, known inside the TIF as the most compliant compound. Much of his day is spent walking the compound’s four zones, overseeing his guards and meeting with the detainee zone chiefs, he said.

“I like to describe my job in the TIF as putting out small fires before they turn into big ones,” said Smith.

Link to rest of story

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