You are here

Upcoming changes to immigration detention centers leaked through email

Some of Texas' immigration detention facilities can expect some changes to give them a feel that is less prison-like, offering them internet, television, bingo games, and other amenities all for cheaper than it would cost to detain them. In an email leaked by the Houston Chronicle, a total of nine Corrections Corporation of America facilities nationwide will undergo these changes.

Of those nine, a few were mentioned in Texas, including the Laredo Processing Center, T. Don Hutto Residential Center, and the Houston Processing Center. All three of these facilities are contracted with ICE to detain low-risk immigrants who are not charged with a crime. This being the case, ICE is not focusing on punishment, rather focusing on the most humane way to hold these people while they await trial or deportation. ICE spokesperson Beth Gibson said, "When people come to our custody, we're detaining them to effect their removal. It's about deportation. It's not about punishing people for a crime they committed." 

The Houston Chronicle outlines some of the ways in which the facilities will change:

At the CCA facilities that have agreed to ICE's changes, detainees will see more variety in their dining hall menus and have self-serve beverage and fresh vegetable bars.

CCA also plans to offer movie nights, bingo, arts and crafts, dance and cooking classes, tutoring and computer training, the e-mail states.

Detainees also will be allowed four hours or more of recreation "in a natural setting, allowing for robust aerobic exercise."

CCA also committed to improving the look of the facilities, such as requiring plants, fresh paint and new bedding in lower-risk units.

...Gibson said CCA is making the improvements at no additional cost to ICE. The agency's contract with CCA for the Houston detention center requires that ICE pay $99 per bed daily for each detainee, slightly lower than the $102 average daily rate ICE pays nationally. (Susan Carroll, "ICE to make detention centers more humane," Houston Chronicle, 8 June, 2010)

This is good news for Texas, especially for the T. Don Hutto Residential Center given its rocky past and recent sexual assault case. Whether or not ICE and CCA follow through with the proposed plans and whether they have an impact remain to be seen. As soon as we find out the timeline and plan of action we will relay the information here.

Blogging Categories: 

Comments

RE. Houston Processing Centre.

I t does already feel different when you visit a loved one! My husband is not an illegal immigrant. He is a victim of wrong advise given on a case he was not guilty of. We are profesional human beings always helping others. Things will soon be sorted out, just make life liveable for him until then, please!!!

"It's about deportation. It's not about punishing people for a crime they committed."

So coming to the US illegally isn't a crime?  Gee, I thought it was.  Then they should change the name of what these people to from illegal imigrant to something else.  What part of "IL" in illegal is confusing?

Anonymous at 5:28 - 7/18/2010: No, being illegally in the country is a civil offense, not a criminal offense. Illegally *crossing the border* is a criminal offense, but it often can't be proven. So therefore illegal immigrants are treated as civil offenders, and should be.

If you are here illegally then at some point in time, you crossed the border to get here so according to your terms then it is considered CRIMINAL. People don't magically fall from the sky, they walk into our country and then demand we help them. We have enough people here to help, go ask your own country for a hand out.