Nearly a dozen immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were held in solitary confinement for more than two months, according to a Department of Homeland Security Inspector General draft report obtained by BuzzFeed News.
The report, which documented findings from a February inspection of the Imperial Regional Detention Facility in Calexico, Calif., indicated that officials used solitary confinement as a long-term “solution” for immigrants in “protective custody,” or those who need special supervision or housing due to risks to their safety.
BuzzFeed also reported that in addition to 11 immigrants who had been placed in solitary confinement for more than 60 days, two others were kept isolated for more than 300 days.
While ICE detainees can request to be put into protective custody, the agency also puts individuals in “administrative segregation” if they pose a threat to the lives of other immigrants or themselves.
“During our inspection, we identified serious violations regarding the administrative segregation of detainees at [Imperial Regional Detention Facility],” the inspectors state, according to BuzzFeed. “Specifically, IRDF was using administrative segregation as a long-term solution for detainees in protective custody and overly restricted detainees by not offering privileges similar to those offered to detainees in general housing units.”
The inspectors also reportedly wrote that “our examination of segregation records showed the facility inaccurately reported to ICE that detainees were receiving recreation time when, in fact, they were not.”