Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sound Familiar? A United Nations Report Details Torture In United States Detention Centers

On February 29, 2012 the United Nations Human Rights Counsel released a report alleging that 16 gay and transgender immigrants detained in United States immigration detention facilities were tortured. The report states that these actions were a direct violation of articles 7 and 12 of the United Nations Convention against Torture. This report also notes that the United States government declined to respond to a United Nations communication dated August 19, 2011, regarding allegations of torture and ill-treatment in immigration detention facilities. The United Nations Human Rights Council is now demanding an immediate investigation of the conditions of detention, solitary confinement and ill-treatment of the immigrants, and to prosecute and punish the individuals that are responsible for torturing immigrant detainees.

As a side note it is also worth noting that the United States Department of Justice is so far refusing to cover detention facilities under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). Sadly this report appears to be just another example of why PREA should apply to Detention Centers.

This Blog writer has repeatedly gone on the record and stated that he observed behavior like this as having taken place at Corrections Corporation of America's Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA. Back in December of 2010 I discussed on this blog how the facilities Warden (Vance Laughlin) had openly mocked a transgendered detainee to a civil rights activist who was touring the facility. In December of 2011 I ran a three part series of articles directly addressing the rape and abuse of a transgendered detainee by both the staff and prisoners at Corrections Corporation of America's Eloy Detention facility in Eloy, Arizona. This writer has also previously gone on the record as having personally observed the placement of a transgendered detainee in Solitary confinement at the Stewart Detention Center for no reason other than being transgendered. This incident was one of the topics that I briefly discussed when I spoke at the "5th Annual Shut Down the Stewart Detention Center Rally" on November 18, 2011 in Lumpkin, GA.

The United Nations Human Rights Counsel report confirms as existing conditions in United States detention centers exactly like I have previously spoken about as having personally witnessed. This blog continues to feel that if Corrections Corporation of America can not humanly hold people in detention then they are failing to live up to the contracts that the United States government has made with them. Corrections Corporation of America regularly claims that they comply with both American Correctional Association (ACA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS). Yet the facts continue to state otherwise.

It is way past time for Corrections Corporation of America to be held accountable for the inhumane and deplorable conditions it forces upon both the immigrants in it's for-profit detention centers and the American citizens held in it's for-profit prisons. For this to happen the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency would have to take it's self seriously and actually enforce it's own Detention Standards on the abusive companies that it contracts to run these taxpayer supported money pits of misery. However, when the United States government declines to answer the United Nations Human Rights Council's inquiries into torture it kind of makes you wonder just how seriously our government takes the conditions inside it's own detention centers.

All opinions and allegations expressed here are just that. Please cross check anything you read before forming your own decision.