Wednesday, January 21, 2009

NYT: Report Faults Treatment of Women Held at Immigration Centers

An alarming article was published in the New York Times yesterday, relaying the results of a study of immigration detention facilities done by the University of Arizona.

Some 300 women held at immigration detention centers in Arizona face dangerous delays in health care and widespread mistreatment, according to [the study], the latest report to criticize conditions at such centers throughout the United States...

The study concluded that immigration authorities were too aggressive in detaining the women, who rarely posed a flight risk, and that as a result, they experienced severe hardships, including a lack of prenatal care, treatment for cancer, ovarian cysts and other serious medical conditions, and, in some cases, being mixed in with federal prisoners.

The article details some of the terrible conditions at these facilities that the report unearthed, and includes the perfunctory dismissal by the Federal authorities. It's worth noting that these prisons were not Federally run, but were privately owned enterprises, run "by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department and the Corrections Corporation of America." Such institutions have exhibited a chronic lack of oversight and accountability in the past. Hopefully the horrors that this study brought to light will be remedied by the new administration, or forces within Arizona. (In the long term, I hope to see Corrections Departments around the country wrested back from the hands of the lowest bidder.)

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