Consular Assistance to U.S. Prisoners

When a U.S. citizen is arrested overseas, he or she may be initially confused and disoriented. It can be more difficult because the prisoner is in unfamiliar surroundings, and may not know the local language, customs, or legal system.

The U.S. Embassy can:

  • Provide you with a list of attorneys practicing in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza
  • Contact family, friends, or employers of the detained U.S. citizen with their written permission
  • Visit the detained U.S. citizen regularly and provide reading materials and vitamin supplements, where appropriate
  • Help ensure that prison officials are providing appropriate medical care
  • Provide a general overview of the local criminal justice process
  • Inform the detainee of local and U.S.-based resources to assist victims of crime
  • Ensure that prison officials are permitting visits with  a member of the clergy
  • Establish an OCS Trust so friends and family can transfer funds to imprisoned U.S. citizens, when permissible under prison regulations

The U.S. Embassy cannot:

  • Assist in removing U.S. citizens from overseas jails
  • State the guilt or innocence of an individual to a court
  • Provide legal advice
  • Represent U.S. citizens in court
  • Serve as official interpreters or translators
  • Pay legal, medical, or other fees