Israeli Prison Warden Investigated for Sex Offenses

Prison warden Shoham Yossef questioned by police, sent to house arrest and suspended from duty.

Daniel Bar-On

The warden of the Ayalon Prison, Junior Commissioner Shoham Yossef, was questioned by the police this week over sexual offenses against a female subordinate.

After being questioned on Monday for allegedly abusing his authority over the woman, he was sent to house arrest for five days and ordered to stay away from Israel Prison Service facilities for 15 days. In addition, the IPS has suspended the officer. 

Yossef was named as the suspect on Wednesday. 

The police said it opened the investigation after receiving information from people inside the Prison Service, and the IPS is providing its “full cooperation.”

“The investigation is in its preliminary [stages] and no further details can be provided,” said the police.

The Prisons Service said Commissioner Ofra Klinger had ordered the immediate suspension of the officer from his duties, while dealing with the complainant and protecting Yossef's legal rights.

Klinger, who became the first woman prison commissioner in Israel in November, established a new unit in the IPS upon her appointment to receive complaints from employees about improper behavior of any type within the organization.

“Klinger announced a policy of zero tolerance for every case of improper behavior and the intention of creating a safe and respectful work environment for all warders,” said the Prison Service.