BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- None of the 1,000-plus Iraqi detainees freed in recent weeks have broken a pledge not to return to the insurgency, according to the Marine general who oversees the U.S. detention centers in Iraq.
A U.S. military panel reviews a detainee's case at Camp Cropper near Baghdad.
Speaking in Arabic, Maj. Gen. Doug Stone on Wednesday reassured Iraqis about how the 25,000 detainees -- mostly Sunnis -- are treated after being taken into custody on suspicion of involvement in the insurgency.
Stone described the detention system as "open and transparent," saying it makes the detainees better citizens and helps break the cycle of violence and poverty in the country.
Stone said detainees get free medical care equal to what he gets as a general, food and water made to Islamic standards, educational opportunities, jobs skills and contact with families.
The U.S. detention centers -- at Camp Bucca near the southern port city of Basra and in Camp Cropper near Baghdad -- are political sore points for Sunnis, who make up 83 percent of the detainees held. The main Sunni political coalition -- the Iraqi Accord Front -- cited the centers as one reason for quitting the government during the summer.
Last month, the U.S.-led coalition launched Operation Lion's Paw in which between 50 and 70 detainees would be released daily during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan after taking a pledge not to rejoin the insurgency against the Shiite-led government.
"This pledge is an Iraqi pledge, a pledge before an Iraqi judge, frequently with a family member present," Stone said. "I am pleased to tell you that in the more 1,000 that have gone through this program and taken the pledge, not one has returned to threaten Iraqi or coalition forces."
Stone said the releases would continue at the same pace beyond Ramadan.
Stone's description seems a far cry from the Abu Ghraib prison operated by the U.S. military in the first years after the invasion. That prison was closed down and razed in the wake of an international scandal over prisoner abuse.
"There are no secrets that go on in detention," Stone said.
"Our facilities are open to inspection by any agency that we in the federal government believe is credible. These agencies are welcomed because they are windows for the world." See what life's like inside Camp Cropper's walls »
By the time of their release, "detainees grow in terms of working in an inter-sectarian environment," he said.
Each detainee has a chance to take classes up to a sixth-grade level, and high school classes are being planned, Stone said. About one-third -- or 8,000 -- are in school, with 7,000 having passed the fifth-grade level, he said.
The 860 detainees who are 17 or younger are all in school, Stone said.
The average stay for a detainee is 300 days, but some have been detained for two years or longer, he said. A review board interviews detainees to decide if they are a threat to security, he said. If they are deemed not to be, they are offered freedom in exchange for taking the pledge.
Only 280 detainees are foreigners, mostly from Syria, Egypt, Iran, Sudan and Saudi Arabia, he said.
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