Deathscapes

Ineffective Inspections

Deathscapes

Ineffective Inspections

In general, the process for holding detention facilities accountable for the ill-treatment and neglect of detainees is quite weak. It doesn’t appear that detainee deaths reviews result in any substantial punishment for the operators of detention facilities nor for the personnel involved in mistreatment. Moreover, ICE’s inspections program, which is designed to ensure that facilities meet ICE’s detention standards, is ineffective at identifying and correcting dangerous and unhealthy conditions in detention.

There are two offices within ICE that conduct inspections of detention facilities: the Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and the Office of Detention Oversight (ODO). The ERO inspections are used to determine whether ICE will continue to contract with specific facilities, while the purpose of ODO inspections is to ensure better compliance with detention standards. Neither office appears to do a good job providing oversight and holding detention facilities accountable.

In 2015, the National Immigration Justice Center (NIJC) and Detention Watch Network (DWN) released a seminal report about the inspections process, concluding that it was merely perfunctory, designed to result in passing ratings for detention facilities. The report was based on an analysis of the inspections reports produced by ODO and ERO. Among NIJC and DWN’s findings are the following: detention facilities are informed of inspections in advance, which gives facilities time to clean up; there are major inconsistencies between ODO and ERO inspections reports for the same facilities, raising questions about the general validity of the inspections process; both ERO and ODO inspections focus on security within a facility and de-emphasize the humane treatment of detainees; and, even when human rights violations or suspicious deaths have occurred, facilities rarely fail inspections and lose their ICE contracts.

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Seminal report by the National Immigration Justice Center and Detention Watch Network about the ICE inspections process.
Seminal report by the National Immigration Justice Center and Detention Watch Network about the ICE inspections process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General Detailing the inadequacies of the ICE inspections process.
Report by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General Detailing the inadequacies of the ICE inspections process.

 


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