There is only one women's prison in Israel — Neve Tirza.
Just over 200 inmates call the prison home, and many of them languish in overcrowded cells and receive little care from guards.
Jews, Muslims, and Christians share cells together, as do first-time offenders and veteran inmates.
There are more than 20,000 prisoners and detainees in Israel.
Just 1% of them are women, and they're all housed at a single prison — Neve Tirza.
Located in the central Israeli town of Ramla, about 15 miles southeast of Tel Aviv, Neve Tirza is home for just over 200 female inmates. Opened in 1968, Neve Tirza is the only women's prison in Israel, and Jews, Muslims, and Christians live alongside each other in its tight, overcrowded cells.
Israel photographer Tomer Ifrah made several visits to Neve Tirza in 2013 and documented the isolation and claustrophobia shared by many of the inmates there. His images shined new light on a facility that has been accused of inhumane treatment of its prisoners, including physical abuse and a lack of proper medical care.
He also discovered that female prisoners in Israel face a unique stigma when they try to re-enter society, leading many of them to wind up back in prison. You can check out more of Ifrah's work at his website and his Instagram account.
Click to take a look inside Neve Tirza:
Inside Israel's women's prison
Inside Israel's women's prison
Neve Tirza is the only women's prison in Israel. It houses just over 200 of Israel's 20,000 prisoners.
The prison's solitary confinement wing has cells so small that an average-sized person can't turn around in them. 'The wing is bug-infested and without air-conditioning or working fans,' Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.
In 2003, an anti-torture group complained that inmates were subjected to violence, improper medical care, unjustified isolation, and strip searches that violated their dignity, among other alleged offenses.
Mental illness is a common problem among inmates, but the prison doesn't have the capacity to treat inmates. "If you put people who are unhealthy in their minds together it can be hell for them," Ifrah told Prison Photography.
Most inmates have trouble finding work after they are released, and 70% of Neve Tirza inmates end up back in prison. The high recidivism rate is in part because female ex-convicts are treated more harshly than male ones, one former inmate said.
"The world doesn’t accept a female prisoner,' the former inmate told The Jerusalem Post. "They'll accept a man going to prison, that makes sense, there's an expectation. But a woman? What’s a woman doing in prison, they ask."
The inmates occasionally participate in theater projects that reflect on themes of motherhood and imprisonment. "A mother's emotion is universal, it's powerful," Keren Cohen-Israeli, the director of one of the plays, told Israeli media.
The harsh reality of Neve Tirza helps inmates become close. "There is lots of love among the prisoners," Ifrah told Refinery29. "They often care very deeply for each other. It feels like a very close family."