The New Yorker magazine features the T. Don Hutton facility its latest edition. The article entitled "The Lost Children," by Margaret Talbot offers a comprehensive analysis of the policy issues that led to family detention at Hutto. The article is available in the March 3rd edition of the magazine and should be available online over the next few weeks.
The article charts the flawed policy changes undertaken by the Department of Homeland Security. Specifically, Talbot mentions that immigrant detention increased by 79% in 2006 from the previous year due to the end of "catch-and-release" in 2005.
Yet, the article also mentions that the government recommended several alternatives to incarceration for undocumented immigrants and their children including the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program which allows people waiting for their cases to be decided to be released to the community provided they are tracked by:
- electronic monitoring bracelets;
- curefews; and
- regular contact with a caseworker.
The government established several pilot programs and determined the community supervision of undocumented immigrants is effective; 90% of the people enrolled in these programs show up for their court dates.
The article also features a comments by our Judy Greene who emphasizes that clear problems with private prison facilities include their ability to circumvent the release of information regarding their facilties such as use of force against prisoners.