Monday, April 6, 2009

New York Times Article Shows that CCA is Number One in Detainee Deaths Among All Private Detention Operators

Last week the New York Times revealed the results of an investigation into detainee deaths while at ICE facilities or ICE contracted facilities. This list was compiled by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) and received by the New York Times through a Freedom of Information request. It documents that more than 90 people have died while in ICE custody since 2003. Roberto Martinez Medina who died on March 11, 2009 while in Correction Corporation of America's custody at the Stewart Detention Center is not included.

The times counted 32 of these deaths as happening at privately operated detention centers. The list shows that 18 of the detainee deaths happened while the detainee was in Corrections Corporation of America's custody. Adding Roberto Martinez Medina to the list, this means that 19 Detainees have died while in Corrections Corporation of America's custody since 2003. CCA who are quite proud of there number one status in many things are also evidently number one in deaths among all of the for profit companies. Previously The 270 View has also reported on how CCA's Torrance County Detention Facility (Estancia, New Mexico) had more sexual victimization occuring at it than had happened at any other prison in the United States. I guess you could rightfully say that CCA is correct when it says that it is a proven industry leader.

The New York Times article also addresses how at a March 3 House subcommittee hearing ICE had cited that there had only been six deaths in private facilities. Obviously this was not accurate.

It is worth mentioning that twelve of the total number of ICE deaths are listed as suicides and one is listed as self inflected (which likely was also a suicide). Two of these suicides appear to of happened at CCA's Eloy facility. These numbers are very troubling to me.

The New York Times article is available online here.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency provided list of detainee deaths made available by the New York Times Freedom of Information requests are here and here.