Friday, March 9, 2007

Audit Finds Multiple Abuses in Immigration Jails

William Fisher NEW YORK, Feb 9 (IPS)

Suspected illegal immigrants held in detention by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are failing to receive timely medical treatment and adequate food, are subjected to frequent sexual harassment, and have their access to lawyers, relatives and immigration authorities improperly limited.

These are among the findings of the department's inspector general, based on an audit of the U.S.-owned and operated Krome Service Processing Centre in Miami, a contract with the Corrections Corporation of America's facility in San Diego, and local jails and prisons in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and Hudson and Passaic Counties, New Jersey, from June 2004 to January 2007.

Critics of the agency still called the report disappointing, contending that it watered down recommendations and ignored the most serious allegations of abuse, which they said included physical beatings, medical neglect, food shortages and mixing of illegal immigrants in administrative custody with criminals.

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