Jails and Jumpsuits: Transforming the U.S. Immigration Detention System- A Two-Year Review by Eleanor Acer

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Author
Eleanor Acer
Publisher
Human Rights First
Date of release
Pages
80
ISBN
9780984366460
Binding
Paperback
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
5
36

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Jails and Jumpsuits: Transforming the U.S. Immigration Detention System- A Two-Year Review

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Book review

Two years ago, in announcements made in August and October of 2009, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) committed to transform the U.S. immigration detention system by shifting it away from its longtime reliance on jails and jail-like facilities, to facilities with conditions more appropriate for the detention of civil immigration law detainees. In this report, Human Rights First reveals that despite these commitments, the United States continues to hold the overwhelming majority of detained asylum seekers and other civil immigration law detainees - nearly 400,000 each year - in jails and jail-like facilities across the country. The facilities are expected to cost American taxpayers more than $2 billion in 2012. In the course of its assessment, Human Rights First visited 17 ICE-authorized detention facilities that together held more than 10,000 of the 33,400 total ICE beds, interviewed government officials, legal service providers, and former immigration detainees, as well as a range of former prison wardens, corrections officials, and other experts on correctional systems. The report also notes that former prison officials and other corrections experts have found that less penal conditions in detention can actually help improve safety inside a facility, a finding echoed in multiple studies. It outlines steps that the administration should take to end its reliance on facilities with conditions that are inappropriate for asylum seekers and other civil immigration law detainees, and to bring U.S. detention practices into compliance with international human rights standards.


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