Wednesday, October 19, 2011

           ACLU REPORT:  Sexual Abuse in Immigration Detention

For people swept up in the vast network of jails and prisons that is our nation’s immigration detention system, being detained means not just facing a loss of liberty, separation from their families and the prospect of deportation. It means being vulnerable to the myriad abuses that the system has been found to be rife with, including unconstitutional levels of medical and mental health care that have left people fighting for their lives.

Map - Sexual Abuse in Immigration Detention Facilities »
President Obama: Protect Women Held in U.S. Custody from Rampant Sexual Abuse »
Among the most pernicious problems to emerge in recent years is the sexual abuse of detainees. According to government documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union through the Freedom of Information Act, nearly 200 allegations of abuse from detainees in detention facilities across the nation have been fielded by government officials since 2007 alone. And that is likely just the very tip of the iceberg. Sexual abuse is a problem that is widely underreported in the outside world, so there’s little question that number does not represent the full scope of the problem. But one thing is clear: the sexual abuse of immigration detainees is not an isolated problem, limited to one rogue facility or merely the result of a handful of bad apple government contractors who staff the nation’s immigration centers.
Disappointingly, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has proposed a rule that explicitly excludes immigration detention facilities from coverage under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). Congress enacted PREA to protect all persons in custody by setting standards for preventing, detecting, and responding to sexual abuse. But without PREA's protection, immigrants in detention remain vulnerable to abuse. For a population at such high risk of sexual abuse, this is unacceptable.  LINK

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