Photos reveal the harsh reality of Israel's sole women's prison

  • 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:

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