New Report: Immigrants Facing Extreme Abuse at Adelanto Detention Center

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
“This facility needs to be shut down immediately” say Immigrant Rights Watchdog Groups

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — A new report, “Abuse in Adelanto: An Investigation into a California Town’s Immigration Jail” released today by Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) and the Detention Watch Network (DWN) documents the extreme dangers detained immigrants face at the Adelanto Immigration Detention Facility — a for-profit facility where medical abuses run rampant and two high profile deaths have occurred. The report raises specific concerns about the treatment of people with disabilities incarcerated at the facility — with one man in a wheelchair denied sterile catheters, and one man with epilepsy denied a helmet to prevent head traumas during seizures.

The report demonstrates the economic impact of the prison industrial complex in one small town. Despite widespread promises of economic prosperity and large federal contractors operating facilities, Adelanto continues to suffer from economic depression, and teeters on bankruptcy.

Read the report here

“This facility is not safe and clearly is not being held accountable by ICE,” said Mary Small, Policy Director at the Detention Watch Network. “The sheer number and consistency of complaints from this GEO Group-owned facility over the last six months point to a mounting crisis that warrants immediate action."

“The facility fosters a hostile environment where detained individuals are afraid to file grievances, where medical needs are neglected, and where staff retaliate when individuals attempt to assert basic human and constitutional rights,” explained Christina Fialho, Co-Executive Director of CIVIC. “The City of Adelanto is at a crossroads. It could continue the expansion of ADF, which would perpetuate the human rights abuses and neglect as documented in this report. Or it could end its dependence on prisons and detention centers, rebuilding the city to live up to its moniker of unlimited possibilities. Detaining immigrants for revenue should never be an option, and it is time for Adelanto to end its dangerous partnership with ICE and GEO.”

Topline abuses from the report include:

  • A paralyzed man, Gerardo Corrales, was refused sterile catheter bags, leading to a life-threatening infection.
  • A man with a respiratory illness was denied medical attention until he passed out.
  • One epileptic man was denied a foam helmet to prevent injury during seizures.
  • In just the last six months alone, the report documents four separate instances of extreme physical abuse by GEO staff, one confirmed death, and one confirmed miscarriage at the facility.
  • 22 individuals, including a majority of Muslims, have reported violations of religious freedom.


Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) is a national nonprofit working to end the isolation and abuse of people in immigration detention through visitation, independent monitoring, storytelling, and advocacy. CIVIC’s network of visitation programs operates in 42 immigration detention facilities, including the Adelanto Detention Facility.

Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.