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1/30 in #DC: Dialogue on Next Steps in ICE Detention Reform (via @HumanRights1st)

January 20, 2012

via Annie Sovcik of Human Rights First

A dialogue among experts in the criminal justice/corrections and immigration detention systems

As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security takes steps to reform the immigration detention system – a patchwork of 33,400 beds scattered throughout the country in over 250 different facilities, holding a diverse population under its “civil” immigration enforcement authority – there are lessons to be learned from experiences, challenges and best practices in the criminal justice/corrections system. Please join our panel of distinguished experts in a discussion of conditions of confinement, access to legal counsel, alternatives to detention/incarceration, barriers to release, and use of discretion in decision to detain/incarcerate.

Monday, January 30, 2012
8:30 – 10:00 AM
Coffee and a light breakfast will be served beginning at 8:00 AM

Hosted by Arnold & Porter L.L.P.
555 12th Street Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20004

** Facebook Event Listing **


  • Moderator: Samuel M. Witten, Counsel, Arnold & Porter, and former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration (2007 – 2010).


  • Steve J. Martin, Attorney, corrections consultant, and former General Counsel of the Texas prison system
  • Laura Sullivan, Correspondent and Investigative Reporter for National Public Radio
  • Gary Mead, Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Ruthie Epstein, Researcher & Advocate, Refugee Protection Program, Human Rights First

RSVP to by Friday, January 27th


Steve J. Martin
Attorney, Corrections Consultant, and former General Counsel of the Texas Prison System
Steve J. Martin is a career corrections professional currently engaged in private practice as a corrections consultant. He is actively involved in a variety of roles as a consulting expert, federal court monitor and court-appointed expert in 15 states plus the American Virgin Islands. He served as a corrections expert for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, for approximately 15 years and currently serves as an expert for the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. He has served or currently serves as a federal court monitor in three prison systems and four large metropolitan jail systems. During more than 39 years in the criminal justice field, Mr. Martin has worked as a correctional officer, probation and parole officer, and prosecutor. He is the former General Counsel/Chief of Staff of the Texas prison system as well as having served gubernatorial appointments in Texas on both a sentencing commission and a council for mentally impaired offenders. He coauthored a book on Texas prisons (Texas Prisons, The Walls Came Tumbling Down, Texas Monthly Press, 1987), and has written numerous articles on criminal justice issues. He has served as an adjunct/visiting faculty member at seven different universities including the University of Texas School of Law and Queens University, Belfast. Mr. Martin has been continuously involved in institutional reform litigation since 1981. This work includes extensive experience in the largest confinement operations (prison, jails, and juvenile facilities) in the United States. He has appeared/testified before a large variety of oversight entities including the U. S. Congress. He has extensive experience in the development of correctional standards, policies, procedures and guidelines for confinement operations across the United States.

Laura Sullivan
Correspondent and Investigative Reporter for National Public Radio
Laura Sullivan is a NPR News investigative correspondent whose work has cast a light on some of the country’s most disadvantaged people. Ms. Sullivan joined NPR in 2004 as a correspondent on the National Desk. For six years she covered crime and punishment issues, with reports airing regularly on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and other NPR programs. Over the years, Ms. Sullivan’s work has been honored by many of journalism’s highest awards, including two Peabody Awards and two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Batons. “Bonding for Profit” – a three-part investigative series that aired on Morning Edition and All Things Considered in 2010 – earned Ms. Sullivan her second duPont and Peabody, as well as awards from the Scripps Howard Foundation, Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, and the American Bar Association. Working with editor Steve Drummond, Ms. Sullivan’s stories in this series revealed deep and costly flaws in one of the most common – and commonly misunderstood – elements of the U.S. criminal justice system. Also in 2011, Sullivan was honored for the second time by Investigative Reporters and Editors for her two-part series examining the origins of Arizona’s controversial immigration law SB 1070. Before joining NPR, Ms. Sullivan was a Washington correspondent for The Baltimore Sun, where she covered the Justice Department, the FBI and terrorism.

Gary Mead
Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Gary Mead is the executive associate director for Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Washington D.C. Mr. Mead oversees a $2.5 billion budget and 8,395 employees. ERO promotes public safety and national security by removing national security threats, high-risk criminal aliens, illegal alien fugitives, and absconders; and ensuring safe and effective custody management for more than 30,000 illegal aliens in custody each day. Between 1974 and 2006, he served in the U.S. Marshals Service where he held a number of Senior Executive Service law enforcement and administrative positions at the associate and assistant director levels. His areas of responsibility included Prisoner Operations, Asset Forfeiture, JPATS, Management and Budget, Human Resources, and the U.S. Marshals Service Training Academy. Between 2006 and 2008, he served as the assistant director for management, deputy director and acting director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations (currently, ERO). From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Mead was a self-employed criminal justice and immigration consultant. He returned to ICE in November 2009 as deputy assistant director, and then assistant director, of Detention Management. Mr. Mead holds a master’s degree and has received two Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Awards.

Ruthie Epstein
Researcher & Advocate, Refugee Protection Program, Human Rights First
Ruthie Epstein works as a Researcher & Advocate in the Refugee Protection Program at Human Rights First, with a focus on U.S. domestic asylum policy and immigration detention. Ms. Epstein is the author of “Jails and Jumpsuits: Transforming the U.S. Immigration Detention System – A Two-Year Review,” released in October 2011. She presented the preliminary findings of this report in August at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association. Ms. Epstein has also worked extensively on the issue of Iraqi displacement and wrote the report “Promises to the Persecuted: The Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act” (2009). Previously, she helped to run Human Rights First’s pro bono legal representation program for indigent asylum seekers in New York and New Jersey. She holds a Master’s of International Affairs from Columbia University and an A.B. in history from Washington University in St. Louis.

Samuel M. Witten
Counsel, Arnold & Porter, and former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration
Samuel Witten has an extensive background in international law, the development and implementation of corporate compliance programs, international dispute settlement, and international law enforcement cooperation. He represents domestic and international clients in litigation and arbitrations and in domestic enforcement and regulatory matters. Before joining Arnold & Porter, Mr. Witten served in the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser for 19 years, including five years as Assistant Legal Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence and six years as Deputy Legal Adviser (equivalent to Deputy General Counsel), where he supervised the State Department’s legal work on law enforcement, human rights, and refugee issues. He served for three years (2007-2010) as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration (“PRM”), where he helped manage the U.S. government’s worldwide programs for the relief of refugees and the admission of refugees into the United States for resettlement. He was Acting Secretary of State for PRM from 2007-2009 and directed the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs in 2009. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Refugee Commission and is President of the Washington Foreign Law Society, a nonprofit group that advances the understanding of international law and foreign affairs.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 20, 2012 11:57 am

    And someone will be filming it?

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