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Protesters Outside the Gate, Problems Inside the Gate at Hutto Prison

On top of the reports of possible sexual misconduct at the T. Don Hutto prison, two separate protests of the prison have hit the news in the last week. Protests last week and this week are calling attention to concerns about the inhumanity of the T. Don Hutto prison, which holds people awaiting their asylum hearings, including hundreds of children.

Last week's protest was in Houston but this Saturday protesters were right outside the gate. Criticism is mounting against the prison, which has rejected oversight, abruptly canceled a visit by a UN human rights expert, and recently fired a guard after catching him leaving a prisoner's cell in the middle of the night. The inquiry has been dropped without charges, but CCA (Corrections Corporation of America) has not rehired the guard. It's not clear what happened to the prisoner involved in the sexual assault, and of course ICE and Corrections Corporation of America are not interested in seeing the sort of negative publicity that a sexual assault inside Hutto could produce.

You may have noticed that many news reports about the sexual contact have specified that it was an "adult" prisoner. This is an important detail since roughly half the prisoners in Hutto are children -- children who are awaiting their immigration hearings to determine their status.

As has pointed out, the last time we jailed entire families was the internment of Japanese people during World War II. They link to an eerie promotional video of the inside of Hutto that ICE has provided showing the children in their little jail uniforms.

Another protest is scheduled for June 23 at the prison.

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