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The penitentiary system
There are currently four national correctional centers, 23 municipal and provincial prisons, and one military prison in Cambodia. All civilian prisons are the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior.
In addition, there is a temporary detention facility for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).
The ECCC is a special Cambodian court which receives international assistance from the United Nations to conduct the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT). The court is more commonly referred to by its more informal names: the Khmer Rouge Tribunal or the Cambodia Tribunal.
Prisons across Cambodia differ from each other in many ways including age, the number of prisoners held and proximity to urban centers. Phnom Penh’s Correctional Center holds more than 3,000 prisoners, whilst Mondulkiri prison currently holds less than 100 inmates. Kampong Thom prison is relatively modern, having been completed in 2010 whilst parts of Takeo prison date back to 1914. Kandal is a provincial prison located in the heart of Takhmao town, whilst CC4 prison sits on hundreds of acres of farmland in a remote area, one-and-a-half hours drive from Pursat, the nearest town.
Women currently make up around 8% of Cambodia’s prison population, yet there are no separate institutions reserved solely for women. In all provincial prisons and Police Judiciary (PJ) in Phnom Penh, women are held in separate cells from men but not always in separate cellblocks. The largest facility housing female inmates is Phnom Penh’s CC2 prison, which, as of mid-September 2014, held 432 women and 154 male juveniles. There are no female inmates in CC1, CC3 and CC4
Many new prison buildings and those currently under construction are situated in unsuitable, remote locations several kilometers outside provincial town centres, which is the result of lucrative land exchange programs between provincial authorities and private companies.
Mr. Bunsorn, the prison department’s director-general said the problem of overcrowding would be resolved when the construction of prisons in Pailin, Kampot, Oddar Meanchey, Siem Reap and Battambang provinces is complete.[^1]