Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New ICE Contracts, and Design Within ICE

From ICE Adelanto Intergovernmental Service Agreement, released to Deportation Research Clinic under the Freedom of Information Act

I took a break from the blog since July, but am resuming with some posts that will try to document in real time some of my research and writing in progress, especially documents sent to me responsive to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.  (I should note that the government is trying to have it both ways: prosecuting people for leaks but then not releasing information according to the statutory requirements of the FOIA law.)

In a cover letter dated September 12, 2013, and postmarked a week later, Immigration and Customs Enforcement released some of the documents associated with its current contract with the City of Adelanto, California for a detention facility dedicated exclusively to people in ICE custody.  The data on the daily bed rates and other costs are unlawfully redacted, and I am appealing these, as well as the missing attachments.  (I am linking to the appeal because the ICE FOIA office is handling a lot of requests for contracts and I'm guessing they will be applying unlawful redactions on those as well; will update on the result.)

 According to an official who spoke to me on condition of confidentiality, the new detention arrangement with GEO is replacing the previous contract ICE had with the facility run by the Los Angeles County sheriff in Mira Loma. Instead of detainees being housed about an hour from downtown L.A. and having live hearings before immigration hearing adjudicators, they are now having televideo hearings from the-middle-of-nowhere in a region chock full of federal, state and local prisons and jails.  Apparently, the LA Sheriff union contract was being renegotiated and ICE found it too expensive. 


GEO Managed Adelanto, CA East and West Detention Facilities

Adelanto 2011 Intergovernmental Service Agreement (IGSA)
I've been reviewing older contracts and this one seems radically different from others, including others signed as late as 2011.  Perhaps the facility is supposed to be one of the new model facilities, except that the language emphasizing the specificity of immigration detainees and their unique needs as administrative detainees and not criminals, is couched in broader, systemwide terms and not specific to this facility.   (The contract also has some language that resembles terms in the Request for Procurement for a new facility in San Antonio, Texas, also issued in 2011.)  

Anyway,  take a look.    The Adelanto subcontractor is the GEO Group.   Curious if anyone has thoughts on why ICE would use an Intergovernmental Service Agreement to have the city supervise a site that ICE is requiring to house exclusively federal immigration detainees, in an area where the federal government already makes quite an impressive footprint.  And, why is ICE doing this in Adelanto and issuing a call for its own contractor to design and run a facility in San Antonio?  Also, curious to hear from anyone who has been to this facility: are there really contact visits? (You can post here or email me at jacqueline-stevensAT northwestern.edu/)  Also, the city sold the land for this facility to GEO a few years back, though that itself doesn't explain the IGSA since ICE has other direct contracts with firms that also own the land and facility.

DIY Detention Facility Instructions
And speaking of the San Antonio RFP, here's something I never ran across before: a lengthy design guide, with dimensions and pictures, for how to build your own ICE detention facility

It's the real life dollhouse version of the immigration detention facility, for children who like to play prison, and with a weird fixation on ... the toilet, the single image that appears more than any other in this document.  I lost track but well over a dozen pictures of toilets appear.  Here are a few:

The one above appears in the document the most frequently--it's the unisex, male, female, officer, public, etc. toilet.  It looks exactly like the Eloy CCA toilet when I visited, the one that had been overflowing into the waiting room for a few days.



This is the "Special Case" Room, which the Manual notes is also referred to as the "padded room."
If you want to know what an inside of a detention facility is supposed to look like, this is your book


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