TX Immigration Detention Center Under Investigation by ICE
Officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are currently investigating allegations that a guard committed sexual assault against several female detainees at an immigration detention center in central Texas.
Specifically, the investigation involves a guard who was stationed at the T. Don Hutto detention facility in Taylor, Texas. According to the allegations, the guard groped several detainees during pat-down searches and propositioned at least one detainee for sex.
The T. Don Hutto detention facility is a private prison run by Corrections Corporation of America. It was previously a detention facility for children and families, but was recently converted into a facility for women as part of the Obama administration's focus on immigration reform.
A letter to Corrections Corporation of America from David Sanders, the Homeland Security Department's contracting officer, cited its failure to follow standard operating procedures.
"We understand that this employee was able to commit these alleged crimes because ICE-mandated transport policies and procedures were not followed."
Corrections Corporation of America has been ordered by ICE to make several policy changes in the immediate aftermath of the sexual assault investigation, including not leaving female detainees alone with male guards. ICE is also pursuing financial penalties against the organization and arranging for sexual harassment training for all staff members.
In addition, ICE is increasing its oversight of not only the T. Don Hutto facility, but all other large, privately run detention facilities.
The guard under investigation has been terminated, and Corrections Corporation of America remains on probation pending the outcome of the investigation.
& ICE Investigating Alleged Sex Assault of Detainees (Associated Press)