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DHS to review use of solitary

Posted: March 27, 2013 | Tags: immigration

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she is going to review guidelines for using solitary confinement in immigration detention centers, in response to an article in The New York Times Sunday, co-written by the Workshop's Catherine Rentz and Times reporter Ian Urbina.

Our report found that on any given day, about 300 immigrants are held in solitary confinement at the 50 largest detention facilities that make up the sprawling patchwork of holding centers nationwide overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, according to new federal data.

Nearly half of those held in solitary confinement are isolated for 15 days or more, the point at which psychiatric experts say they are at risk for severe mental harm. The agency said about 35 detainees were kept in solitary for more than 75 days.

Officials began reviewing detention records a year ago at the request of immigration lawyers. The 50 facilities that were reviewed by the agency over a five-month period hold about 85 percent of the agency’s average daily population of 34,000 detainees.

 

 




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