Immigrants may get 'softer' confinement

Discussion in 'Immigration/Illegal Immigration' started by Angelhair, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Angelhair
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    Angelhair Senior Member

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    SAN ANTONIO - Some asylum-seekers and immigrants awaiting deportation proceedings could soon be held in facilities where they can wear their own clothes, participate in movie and bingo nights, eat continental breakfasts and celebrate holidays with family members.

    It could end confinement in prisonlike facilities - complete with razor wire, jail-style uniforms, armed guards and partitions that prevent physical contact with loved ones - for those who have never been convicted of a crime and are not considered a threat.

    Corrections Corporation of America, the largest contractor for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has reached a preliminary agreement to soften confinement, free of charge, at nine immigrant facilities covering more than 7,100 beds - a deal that ICE officials see as a precursor to changes elsewhere.

    Overall, the facilities are expected to be less prisonlike, offering freer movement for detainees, fewer pat-downs and better access to legal resources. The agreement calls for fresh vegetables and access to self-serve beverages along with cooking and exercise classes, according to a list released by ICE.

    Corrections Corp. will soften "the look for the facility with hanging plants, flower baskets, new paint colors, different bedding and furniture" and allow lengthy visits from friends and relatives who can provide outside packages or food for special celebrations under changes to be made over the next six months.

    ICE Director John Morton announced last year that the agency would make detention facilities less prisonlike because immigrant detainees are being held on civil immigration charges, not criminal offenses, though it was unclear at the time what changes would be made.

    Immigrants may get 'softer' confinement
     

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