[JURIST] US military forces are increasing efforts to establish a proper professional police force in Iraq [JURIST news archive], but it will take time to overcome issues in the current force including corruption, low morale, and incompetence, according to the US commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq [official website]. Gen. George Casey, Jr. [official profile] said he nonetheless expects to shift security responsibility from US troops to the Iraqi police by year's end. Casey stressed that the success of Iraq depends upon the civil authorities being able to "maintain domestic order and deny [Iraq] as a terrorist safe haven." AP has more.
As part of a general program to improve the Iraqi criminal justice system, the US has also helped establish an Iraqi Correctional Service [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] to operate prisons, court systems, and a training academy for prison guards and administrators. The service is currently operating nine prison facilities throughout Iraq and prison guards have received human rights training in an effort to prevent repeats of prisoner abuse uncovered in Iraqi-run prisons [JURIST report] by US inspectors last year. Reuters has more.