We found violations of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention standards undermining the protection of detainees’ rights and the provision of a safe and healthy environment. Although the conditions varied among the facilities and not every problem was present at each, our observations, interviews with detainees and staff, and review of documents revealed several common issues. At three facilities, we found segregation practices infringing on detainee rights. Detainees at all four facilities had difficulties resolving issues through the grievance and communication systems, including allegations of verbal abuse by staff. Two facilities had issues with classifying detainees according to their risk levels, which could affect safety. Lastly, we identified living conditions at three facilities that violate ICE standards. We recommended the Acting Director of ICE ensure the Enforcement and Removal Operations field offices overseeing the detention facilities covered in the report address identified issues and ensure facility compliance with relevant detention standards. We made one recommendation that will help ICE ensure compliance with detention standards. ICE concurred with the recommendation.
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- Executive SummaryReport NumberOIG-20-45Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaKeywordsFiscal Year2020
- Executive Summary
We surveyed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities from April 8-20, 2020 regarding their experiences and challenges managing COVID-19 among detainees in their custody and among their staff. The facilities that responded to our survey described various actions they have taken to prevent and mitigate the pandemic’s spread among detainees. These actions include increased cleaning and disinfecting of common areas, and isolating new detainees, when possible, as a precautionary measure. However, facilities reported concerns with their inability to practice social distancing among detainees, and to isolate or quarantine individuals who may be infected with COVID-19. Regarding staffing, facilities reported decreases in current staff availability due to COVID-19, but have contingency plans in place to ensure continued operations. The facilities also expressed concerns with the availability of staff, as well as protective equipment for staff, if there were an outbreak of COVID-19 in the facility. Overall, almost all facilities stated they were prepared to address COVID-19, but expressed concerns if the pandemic continued to spread. At the time of our survey, 23 facilities reported having detainees who had tested positive for COVID-19; this number had risen to 48 facilities as of May 11, 2020.Report NumberOIG-20-42Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaFiscal Year2020
Management Alert - Security and Safety Concerns at Border Patrol Stations in the Tucson Sector (Redacted)Executive Summary
We conducted unannounced inspections of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immigration holding facilities to determine if conditions are adequate, the quality of care provided is reasonable, and standards outlined in CBP’s National Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention, and Search are being met. During these inspections, we identified physical security issues that pose a potential threat to Border Patrol agents, assets, and operations at Border Patrol stations. We also identified security issues related to cameras and access at other Border Patrol stations. As a result, we are recommending that CBP promptly address the physical security issues, ensure cameras are operable, and facility access is secure.Report NumberOIG-17-115-MAIssue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaFiscal Year2017
ICE Field Offices Need to Improve Compliance with Oversight Requirements for Segregation of Detainees with Mental Health ConditionsExecutive Summary
We determined that the seven facilities we inspected were generally following U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidance for documenting decisions on segregating detainees with mental health conditions and promptly reporting segregation placement information for detainees with mental health conditions to ICE field offices. However, the field offices we reviewed did not record and promptly report all instances of segregation to ICE headquarters, nor did their system properly reflect all required reviews of ongoing segregation cases. Also, ICE does not regularly compare segregation data in the electronic management system with information at detention facilities to assess the accuracy and reliability of data in the system. Unless ICE field offices comply with requirements to report and record these reviews, ICE headquarters cannot be sure required reviews are taking place and may not have all the information needed to assess the use of segregation, which could put detainees and facility staff at risk of harm. We made three recommendations to ICE to improve oversight and accountability for segregation of detainees with mental health conditions.Report NumberOIG-17-119Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaFiscal Year2017