Date of this Version
Department of Homeland Security, OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL, OIG-19-47, June 3, 2019
In response to concerns raised by immigrant rights groups and complaints to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline about conditions for detainees held in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, we conducted unannounced inspections of four detention facilities to evaluate their compliance with ICE detention standards.
Overall, our inspections of four detention facilities revealed violations of ICE’s 2011 Performance-Based National Detention Standards, which set requirements for facilities housing detainees. This report summarizes findings on our latest round of unannounced inspections at four detention facilities housing ICE detainees. Although the conditions varied among the facilities and not every problem was present at each, our observations, detainee and staff interviews, and document reviews revealed several common issues. Because we observed immediate risks or egregious violations of detention standards at facilities in Adelanto, CA, and Essex County, NJ, including nooses in detainee cells, overly restrictive segregation, inadequate medical care, unreported security incidents, and significant food safety issues, we issued individual reports to ICE after our visits to these two facilities. All four facilities had issues with expired food, which puts detainees at risk for food-borne illnesses. At three facilities, we found that segregation practices violated standards and infringed on detainee rights. Two facilities failed to provide recreation outside detainee housing units. Bathrooms in two facilities’ detainee housing units were dilapidated and moldy. At one facility, detainees were not provided appropriate clothing and hygiene items to ensure they could properly care for themselves. Lastly, one facility allowed only non-contact visits, despite being able to accommodate in-person visitation. Our observations confirmed concerns identified in detainee grievances, which indicated unsafe and unhealthy conditions to varying degrees at all of the facilities we visited.
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