There were nooses hanging in cells, evidence of misuse of solitary confinement areas, and other significant threats to health and safety of immigrants being held at an ICE detention center that was treated to a surprise inspection recently, CNN reports.
In a report released this week, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security says that inspectors “identified serious violations” at the facility that houses immigrants who are waiting for their status in this country to be legally determined.
Nooses were found hanging in about 15 cells inside the facility, according to the Los Angeles Times. The nooses were fashioned from braided bed sheets and hung from vents. This is a clear threat to the safety of detainees.
One man was found dead, hanging from his bed sheets, at this facility in March 2017. Since then, there have been at least seven suicide attempts at the same facility. This makes the hanging nooses found by inspectors even more sinister.
Multiple detainees were interviewed during the course of the inspection, and some had horrifying stories to tell. One immigrant said his teeth fell out while he waited for his dental problems to be addressed. A quick check into the facility’s records showed that some detainees wait months or even years to receive basic dental care. In the last four years, no detainees have received fillings at the facility at all.
The report additionally states that there were 80 medical grievances filed with the facility by detainees from November 2017 to April 2018.
This is America.— Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) October 2, 2018
ICE's Adelanto Processing Center in California -- where I've been twice to meet a separated father for @chrislhayes & @allinwithchris -- had "nooses in detainee cells," "improper and overly restrictive segregation," and "untimely and inadequate" medical care. pic.twitter.com/8qrj6IcL4x
More problems were unearthed during the surprise visit. During the inspection, it was discovered that all 14 people being held in disciplinary segregation were placed there without being found guilty of a rule violation.
Inspectors went to the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in May. The facility is about 80 miles outside of Los Angeles. It is a privately run facility operated by The GEO Group. This prison contractor operates many immigration detention centers throughout the U.S.
In a statement from ICE, spokesperson Lori Haley says that ICE takes these findings “seriously…and has agreed to conduct a full and immediate review of the center to ensure compliance with detention standards and expedite necessary corrective actions.” The vague statement provides no details about disciplinary actions or any other information about how the facility will be compelled into compliance with minimum standards.
There were 7 suicide attempts over 10 months at a California ICE processing center. A surprise inspection found "significant" safety risks including:— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 3, 2018
- Nooses made of sheets hanging in cells
- Months-long waits for medical care
- Disabled detainees left in wheelchairs for days pic.twitter.com/P47vVNtjkQ
Adelanto can hold almost 2,000 detainees. Since the facility opened seven years ago, tens of thousands of people detained by ICE have been held there.
The GEO Group did not respond to media requests for comment about the report.