We all know that the nation’s immigrant detention system is a mess. This consists of a collection of public and private facilities that have been widely criticized in recent years, including in two lawsuits that alleged poor conditions in a San Diego detention center. Also, abuse of detainees as well as corruption cases.
Expected to take from three to five years, the reform is intended to bring more order to a “disjointed” detention network of roughly 350 facilities that is heavily dependent on contractors. The effort will be overseen by a new Office of Detention Policy and Planning, headed by former Arizona corrections official Dora Schriro.
More immediate changes will include assigning federal detention managers to work in 23 facilities that Morton called the agency’s most significant, which house more than 40 percent of the detainee population. ICE officials would not say if the agency’s detention center in Otay Mesa, one of its larger contract facilities and the subject of two 2007 lawsuits over detention conditions, would be among them. We hope the above referenced changes will bring a much needed reform.