Thursday, July 17, 2008

Voices From Detention: GEO Group's Northwest Detention Center found to violate human rights

July 15: The Seattle University School of Law and OneAmerica (a Seattle-based organization advancing immigrant, civil, and human rights) released Voices from Detention on conditions at the GEO Group's Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA.  Based on 46 interviews, primarily with detainees, the report found:
  • Lack of due process and violations of attorney-client privilege.
  • The use of physical threats and intimidation to force detainees to sign papers.
  • Mistreatment of detainees by guards and federal marshalls.
  • Inadequate medical care, esp. emergency care.
  • Inadequate treatment of mentally ill, esp. refugees who had been persecuted in their homelands.
  • Insufficient quantities of food and incidents of food poisoning.
  • Poor living conditions due to severe overcrowding.
  • Language barriers to detainees. 
Unfortunately, these conditions have been found at detention centers across the U.S.  Check out the links in this blog's sidebar to learn how you can take a stand for immigrants' rights.  Read the executive summer here, and the full report here.  For more information on private prisons, visit the Texas Prison Bid'ness blog and the Business of Detention website.