Saturday, January 12, 2008

Government posts standards for family detention

As stipulated in the ACLU and UT Immigration settlement last fall, the government has published federal standards on family detention. Because this practice is so new, there have previously been no standardized guidelines for protocol and accountability. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction.

Read the Austin-American Statesmen's full report.

By Juan Castillo
Saturday, January 12, 2008
The first-ever federal standards for immigrant women and children held in confinement at facilities in Taylor and Pennsylvania are an improvement, but fall short of ensuring appropriate conditions for families who have committed no crimes, advocates for immigrants and refugees said Friday.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on Friday posted the 37 new standards on the agency's Web site. They address education, discipline, use of force, medical care, strip searches, sexual assault and prevention, detainee counts and other issues.

..."We commend the Department of Homeland Security for drafting standards that will improve these facilities," said Michelle Brané with the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children in New York. "However, we continue to be concerned with many provisions of the standards, particularly that they allow children to be disciplined based on adult prison protocol, including the use of restraints, steel batons and strip searches."