To deal with these threats, the IPS has three special units:
The Nachshon Unit is the Israel Prison Service's operational arm. It was established in 1973, and serves as the central unit for observing prisoners, conducting intervention and security tasks and operating holding cells in court houses. Additionally, the unit is responsible for the transport of prisoners and for special security assignments that derive from the Israel Prison Service duties.
The unit's duties include, among others: escorting prisoners or detainees from one prison facility to another and intervening during irregular occurrences in the prisoners in order to restore order and safety. The unit aids in conducting wide-range searches within the prisons in an attempt to find weapons, drugs, notes containing information about plans to conduct terrorist attacks, mobile phones and more.
Furthermore, the unit also provides security for threatened staff members of the Israeli Prison Service and their families, transports extradited prisoners from abroad, escorts prisoners and detainees to court and guards them in the courtroom itself; and escorts dangerous prisoners to home visitations and medical treatments.
The Nachshon unit escorts about 1,800 prisoners daily in the unit's escort vehicles. The unit has several hundred specially-designed operational vehicles, from busses to trucks to motorcycles; all adapted to escort prisoners. The vehicles serve as mobile prisons, transporting a dangerous and violent sector of the population that may likely attempt to escape.
The Massada unit is the IPS’s "takeover" unit. The unit was formed in 2003, and it is a national operational unit, comprised of individuals with extensive training. The unit is always at the ready to provide professional and appropriate solutions in various cases of emergency, such as riots, assaults, revolts, escape attempts and other special assignments.
The unit specializes in non-lethal methods of neutralizing activity. Furthermore, the unit also aids additional security forces in times of emergency and participates in Special Forces exercises. Prior to the establishment of the unit, the Israel Prison Service relied mostly on IDF and Israel Police units for special situations.
The Dror narcotics intelligence unit was established in 1994. The unit's main purpose combat crime, while its secondary purpose is to serve as an operative force for situations of unrest and rioting, alongside the Massada unit. The unit carries out the IPS’s deterrence and penalty policy against prisoners who sell drugs.
The unit is comprised of dozens of detectives and staff members who conduct investigations, gather intelligence, oversee operations and conduct undercover activities. The unit operates both within and outside of the prison walls to fight crime and prevent the smuggling and use of drugs in the prisons.
The unit take measures to detect prisoners selling and smuggling drugs, locate drug smuggling routes and methods of smuggling and concealing drugs. Additionally, the unit detects explosives and potential weapons in the prisons and identifies the prisoners involved. The unit operates in cooperation with the Israel Police, the IDF and the General Security Service.