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@NIJC @P4HR Launch Campaign Against Solitary Confinement in Detention

October 1, 2012

Tell the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to end solitary confinement in immigration detention immediately.

Some have equated the practice to torture, yet a new study from the National Immigrant Justice Center and Physicians for Human Rights reveals that the jails and detention facilities that contract with ICE often put detained immigrants in abusive and long-term solitary confinement. Researchers found that jails frequently sentence LGBT people and the mentally ill to solitary confinement because they cannot guarantee these individuals’ safety in the general population. Guards are given extraordinary power that allows them to use solitary confinement to threaten and discriminate against certain detainees. In most cases, detained immigrants have no way to appeal their confinement.

On the day Delfino was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the detention center’s guards put him in solitary confinement, claiming it was for his protection because of his “feminine appearance.” Unable to stand the isolation, Delfino asked to be held with the jail’s general population, but his request was denied. Guards also denied Delfino’s requests to be placed on work detail and for a Bible so he could keep his body and mind occupied. As the loneliness closed in, Delfino feared he would become suicidal like others he heard try to take their own lives in nearby cells.

No human being should be subjected to the isolation and suffering Delfino endured. The vast majority of immigrants in detention pose no threat to anyone, and there is no reason for anyone to be held in solitary confinement.

To support the campaign click here.

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