Life inside of a US detention center
September 17, 2021 4:00 PM   Subscribe

(cw: physical and sexual abuse) Earlier today, Project South released their collaborative report, Medical Abuse of Immigrants Detained at the Irwin County Detention Center [pdf full text], detailing the results of their investigation into and eventual success at shutting down just one of hundreds of ICE detention facilities that exist in the US

Irwin Detention Center first started imprisoning immigrants in 2010 after a rebuild of the complex resulted in the bankruptcy of Municipal Corrections LLC, who had convinced the local county council to provide millions in tax breaks as part of the expansion efforts. The prison, at that time, already had documented cases of abuse and corruption.

In 2012, the national chapter of the ACLU called on Obama to shut down the center after reports of a hunger strike protesting systemic abuse by guards was released. These calls went unheeded until only a few months prior to the end of Obama's term. That November, following national elections, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report detailing how the detainees were "subjected to physical abuse, retaliation by detention center staff and ICE officers [... and little] protection or accommodations to vulnerable detainees, including elderly, disabled and LGBT individuals. Months later, Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic released an update to the Prisoners of Profit report, which detailed the invisible, unaccountable abuses of teenagers inside of private juvenile prisons. Their update, titled Imprisoned Justice: Inside Two Georgia Immigrant Detention Centers, noted that the Irwin and Stewart Detention Centers had served detainees "beans that had maggots growing in them," with meal times separated by periods of up to seven hours, with some immigrants reported as having lost between ten to seventy pounds along with developing health conditions due to the lack of clean water, and recommended the closure of the facilities and disinvestment from profit-driven detention centers.

It wouldn't be until late 2016 when a nurse blew the whistle on repeated forced sterilizations that coverage of these centers would be picked up again by national media, resulting in the ending of the contract with Irwin and eventual closure of one of the two detention centers covered in the reports above. As a result, the detainees who were housed at Irwin were transferred to other detention facilities whose conditions have also been called squalid and abusive and hazardous, where a sick 16-year-old was forced into isolation to die.

Even so, the Biden administration already has their sights set on a new privately-run detention center at a facility known for previous histories of abuse. Immigration detention has increased exponentially under Biden. This is in spite of campaign promises to end all private immigrant detention centers and numerous reports condemning the treatment of children in these facilities.

All this while, immigrant rights groups and organizers have been collecting and detailing the conditions present inside of immigrant detention facilities with numerous calls to action like those listed here. Additionally, immigrant rights groups are always looking for volunteers and donations. Links for these can be found below:
posted by paimapi (6 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Thank you for posting this. This is clearly genocidal and I hope that we can get some of the electoral accountability for a Dem president too, rather than excusemaking.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 5:09 PM on September 17 [7 favorites]

Excuse my language but, you know, fuck this shit. This is unconscionable.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:42 AM on September 18 [4 favorites]

"Immigration detention has increased exponentially under Biden."

But the media, and most of average Americans, is cool with it. Who would have thought?
posted by - at 2:06 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

The United States must become a signatory to the Rome statute. These crimes against humanity must be tried internationally.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:25 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]

Immigration detention has increased exponentially under Biden.

Doesn't the article actually say that the figure is half of the peak under Trump?
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:08 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

It has increased under Biden; it has not yet reached the levels of 2016-2019; it's also just about back to where it was the last year of the Obama administration. This shit is ongoing.

Graphs 1994 to 2019, 2018 to Feb 2021.
posted by away for regrooving at 9:09 AM on September 18 [4 favorites]

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