Detention centers in Houston and Polk County are among the 10 worst in the country for human rights violations, according to a report released Thursday by Detention Watch Network, a national immigration advocacy group.
(Full disclosure: my wife is an immigration attorney.)
Among the violations reported by Detention Watch Network (and brought to my attention by the Texas Tribune):
At Polk County Jail (TX) one man was put in solitary confinement for thirty days forÂ “misbehaving.” According to the man,Â facility staff forced him to sign papers agreeing to be segregated, even though he didn’t understand the forms presented to him in English.
A man with serious emotional health problems in the Houston ProcessingÂ Center in Texas was placed in solitary confinement for months at a time, a practice which the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has deemed torture.
According to the report, problems are widespread. At all ten of the facilities, people reported waiting weeks or months for medical care; an absence of any outdoor recreation time or access to sunlight or fresh air; minimal and inedible food; the use of solitary confinement as punishment; and the extreme remoteness of many of the facilities from any urban area which makes access to legal services nearly impossible.
The most universal refrain of immigrants in detention is the fear that complaining about their treatment will lead to retaliation by guards, or will negatively impact their immigration cases.
Have many of these detainees broken the law? Yes. Do they deserve to be treated like dogs set for euthanization? Absolutely not.
Read the whole report after the jump: