During our unannounced inspection of Pulaski County Jail, we identified violations of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention standards that threatened the health, safety, and rights of detainees. In addressing COVID-19, Pulaski did not consistently enforce precautions including use of facial coverings and social distancing, which may have contributed to repeated COVID-19 transmissions at the facility. Pulaski did not meet standards for classification, medical care, segregation, or detainee communication. We found that the facility was not providing a color-coded visual identification system based on the criminal history of detainees, causing inadvertent comingling of a detainee with significant criminal history with detainees who had no criminal history. The facility generally provided sufficient medical care, but did not provide emergency dental services and the medical unit did not have procedures in place for chronic care follow-up. We also found that the facility was not consistently providing required oversight for detainees in segregation by conducting routine wellness checks. Finally, we found deficiencies in staff communication practices with detainees. Specifically, ICE did not specify times for staff to visit detainees and could not provide documentation that it completed facility visits with detainees during the pandemic. We did find that Pulaski generally complied with the ICE detention standard for grievances. We made five recommendations to ICE’s Executive Associate Director of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) to ensure the Chicago ERO Field Office overseeing Pulaski addresses identified issues and ensures facility compliance with relevant detention standards. ICE concurred with all five recommendations.
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