The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a scathing report today highlighting serious issues at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center, the largest immigration detention facility in California and the country.
The report confirms what we’ve documented through our own monitoring efforts — that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the GEO Group systematically violate the rights of detained individuals and subject them to health and safety hazards.
Among the serious issues found by the OIG’s unannounced inspection are the inappropriate and overly restrictive use of solitary confinement, inadequate and untimely medical care and the prevalence of nooses made from braided bed sheets in cells.
The report details guards’ and staff’s reckless disregard for detained individuals’ safety. In one egregious case a disabled individual in a wheelchair was placed in disciplinary segregation even though he had requested administrative segregation, with medical staff repeatedly and deliberately failing to check in on him. In an interview with a detained individual about the makeshift nooses in cells, the OIG found that guards would laugh at detained individuals following failed attempted suicides. Adelanto is notoriously known for its high fatality rate.
The OIG’s report is further proof that ICE and GEO Group guards and staff at Adelanto have not only violated ICE’s Performance-Based National Detention Standards, but have also created a hostile environment that endangers the lives of thousands of asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, legal permanent residents and other immigrants. Without real consequences, ICE and the GEO Group will continue to operate with impunity.