Reports & Other Publications

Research and analysis exposing the inhumane immigration detention system

Banking on Detention 2016 Update

June 2016
Co-author: 
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)

The widespread use of local lockup quotas throughout the immigration detention system was exposed in DWN and CCR’s report, Banking on Detention: Local Lockup Quotas and the Immigrant Dragnet, in June 2015. Since then, the government has released additional documents that shed light on the continued use of local lockup quotas, covering at least 24 detention facility contracts. This report update includes uncovering local quotas at family detention centers.

Descargar como PDF: Ganancias Garantizadas en el Sistema de Detención Actualización de 2016

Fatal Neglect: How ICE Ignores Deaths in Detention

February 2016
Co-authors: 
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC)

This report examines egregious violations of medical standards by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that played a significant role in the deaths of people in detention centers across the country. The report focuses on eight deaths during a three-year period (2010 to 2012). Based on documentation from ICE investigations conducted after each death, which the ACLU received through a Freedom of Information Act request, the report shows that violations of ICE’s medical standards contributed to the deaths. More perniciously, additional research shows that ICE inspections of the detention facilities before and after these deaths failed to acknowledge — or sometimes dismissed — the substandard medical care.

Descargar como PDF: Negligencia Mortal: El ICE pasa por alto las muertes en el sistema de detención

Abuse in Adelanto: An Investigation into a California Town’s Immigration Jail

November 2015
Co-author: 
Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC)

This report details how the rural town of Adelanto relied on the prison industrial complex to revitalize their community only to realize that an influx of prisons did not bring economic growth. The report also delves into the abuses and violations that CIVIC visitation volunteers and detention monitoring tours have documented from speaking with detained individuals at the Adelanto Detention Center.

Lives in Peril: How Ineffective Inspections Make ICE Complicit in Detention Center Abuse

October 2015
Co-author: 
National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC)

This report exposes how Immigration Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) inspections process for immigration detention obscures and perpetuates widespread abuses of detained immigrants. The lack of accountability for the operators and service-providers of immigration detention facilities has led to egregious conditions, medically negligent deaths, and abuses that violate the most basic of human and constitutional rights. The report draws on information obtained from contracts and audits of the most populated immigration detention facilities through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by NIJC in 2011.

Banking on Detention: Local Lockup Quotas & the Immigrant Dragnet

June 2015
Co-author: 
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)

This report identifies the use of local “lockup” quotas, referred to as guaranteed minimums in detention facility contracts, in at least half of ICE’s field offices. These contractual provisions obligate ICE to pay for a minimum number of immigration detention beds that they are encouraged to not only fill, but exceed. As a result, local “lockup” quotas serve as a tax-payer funded insurance policy for private prison corporations. The report draws on information obtained from a FOIA request filed in November 2013.

Ending the Use of Immigration Detention to Deter Migration

April 2015

This policy brief examines the inappropriate use of deterrence as a rationale for immigration detention. The brief serves as a resource for advocates to push back against the argument that you can punish people to stop them (and others) from seeking safety, which disregards constitutional protections and the United States’ international obligations.

Expose & Close: Artesia

September 2014

This report investigates the rapid growth of family detention in 2014, exposing the now closed Artesia Family Detention Center in New Mexico. This report describes how the government justified imprisoning asylum seeking women and their children — including babies, with the misguided (and now illegal) rationale that detention is a way to deter migration.

Expose & Close: One Year Later

November 2013

This report provides an updated review of conditions at immigration jails featured in the original Expose & Close reports from 2012, as well as, additional detention centers in Florida, Nevada, California and Pennsylvania. The report documents a complete lack of accountability in a system that continues to be plagued by deaths, suicides, inadequate medical care and violations of due process.

Expose & Close

November 2012
Co-authors: 
DWN members and allies, including policy advocates, community organizers, legal service providers, faith groups and individuals personally impacted by detention.

Expose and Close 2012 was a coordinated release of ten reports that detail the acute and chronic human right violations occurring in some of the worst immigration detention centers in the United States: Baker County Jail (FL), Etowah County Jail (AL), Houston Processing Center (TX), Hudson County Jail (NJ), Irwin County Detention Facility (GA), Pinal County Jail (AZ), Polk County Detention Facility (TX), Stewart Detention Center (GA), Theo Lacy Detention Center (CA), and Tri-County Detention Center (IL).

The Influence of the Private Prison Industry in the Immigration Detention Business

May 2011

Presented here is research identifying the companies most heavily invested in the immigration detention business, and charting the increase in their lobbying activities over the last decade — not only in terms of dollars spent but also in terms of the variety of government entities targeted.