Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

“Sexual Assault and Abuse Rampant in Immigration Detention Centers”

with 2 comments

That’s the headline of this Campus Progress report (h/t: Adam Serwer). Immigration detention generally happens in private prisons run by the Corrections Corporation of America or county jails that contract with ICE. LGBT detainees are especially at risk:

And at the San Pedro Service Processing Center in California, a guard forced a transgender woman to repeatedly perform oral sex on him while she waited for her attorney in a holding cell. Even after she reported the incident, the staff took so long arranging for evidence collection that she was forced to wait overnight to wash out her mouth.

Violence against LGBT detainees, in particular, is a growing problem, as they are especially vulnerable within the detention system. In addition to being singled out for harassment as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity, transgender women often face the added risk. They are often housed with male detainees and supervised by male guards. Under those conditions, transgender women are even more susceptible to violence than those held in women-only facilities. …

Unfortunately, efforts to safeguard this particularly vulnerable population have proven distinctly harmful as well. For instance, when the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) conducted site visits of seven Southwest detention centers last year, they were troubled to find that some facilities attempted to protect LGBT detainees by keeping them in solitary confinement—a harshly punitive measure often used in prisons to discipline disobedient criminal inmates.


Written by sara

October 20, 2010 at 9:27 am

2 Responses

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  1. No one should have to give up any body parts or recieve any body parts or fluids they dont want to have and the abuse of authority should be an enhancement in every case where the power differential allows for a victim of these crimes to be harmed and the victims worth and rights diminished while at the same time becoming an unwilling victim of noterity. Sick world we live in there enough free stuff going around that no one should have to resort to unwilling participants. The value of a human life for some people means zero to others who feel entitled to rape them like the worlds a human grocery store.

    doctor it up

    October 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm

  2. Information about the ICE detainee centers is getting better… they also recently added a ‘detainee locator’ system, but they need to improve more. The problem is the treatment of the inmates is only as good as the people who work in the facilities. Because the detainees are rarely criminals and not prison savvy, many will place too much trust in staff who sometimes take advantage of them.

    Johnny Exchange

    March 11, 2011 at 11:03 am

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