In Michigan, a man in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was sent into a jail’s general population unit with an open wound from surgery, no bandages and no follow-up medical appointment scheduled, even though he still had surgical drains in place.
A federal inspector found: “The detainee never received even the most basic care for his wound.”
In Georgia, a nurse ignored an ICE detainee who urgently asked for an inhaler to treat his asthma. Even though he was never examined by the medical staff, the nurse put a note in the medical record that “he was seen in sick call.”
“The documentation by the nurse bordered on falsification and the failure to see a patient urgently requesting medical attention regarding treatment with an inhaler was negligent.”
And in Pennsylvania, a group of correctional officers strapped a mentally ill male ICE detainee into a restraint chair and gave the lone female officer a pair of scissors to cut off his clothes for a strip search.
“There is no justifiable correctional reason that required the detainee who had a mental health condition to have his clothes cut off by a female officer while he was compliant in a restraint chair. This is a barbaric practice and clearly violates … basic principles of humanity.”
These findings are all part of a trove of more than 1,600 pages of previously secret inspection reports written by experts hired by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. In examining more than two dozen facilities across 16 states from 2017 to 2019, these expert inspectors found “negligent” medical care (including mental health care), “unsafe and filthy” conditions, racist abuse of detainees, inappropriate pepper-spraying of mentally ill detainees and other problems that, in some cases, contributed to detainee deaths.
These reports almost never become public. [Continue reading…]