Sexual Abuse in Immigration Detention Facilities

Sexual abuse complaints since 2007 from ACLU Freedom of Information Act documents

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    • Allegations of Abuse where the state is unclear

      30 allegations
      30 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was made to strip naked in front of two other individuals, then mocked and sexually harassed. (Complaint Received: 03/2007)
    • Complainants allege that they were raped while in ICE custody and that ICE officials did not take their complaints seriously. (Complaint Received: 04/2007)
    • In transit between two detention facilities, the officer in charge of making the transfer allegedly took the subject detainee to his/her residence and proceeded to have sex with him/her against his/her will. (Incident date: 09/2007)
  • Alabama

    • Facilities Unknown

      3 allegations

      Facilities Unknown
      3 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged being repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by other detainees in the facility. (Complaint Received: 03/2009)
  • Arizona

    • Florence Correctional Center

      16 allegations

      Florence Correctional Center
      Florence SPC Pinal County Adult Detention Center
      Eloy Detention Center
      1 allegations

    • Florence SPC

      16 allegations

      Florence Correctional Center
      Florence SPC Pinal County Adult Detention Center
      Eloy Detention Center
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Report circulated alleging a sexual relationship between a detainee and an unknown ICE officer. (Report Received 9/9/2009).
    • Pinal County Adult Detention Center

      16 allegations

      Florence Correctional Center
      Florence SPC Pinal County Adult Detention Center
      Eloy Detention Center
      6 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that two corrections officers informed other inmates that he/she is homosexual. Complainant alleedly now fears for his/her safety because h/she has been physically and sexually assaulted in the past because of his/her homosexuality (Complaint Received: 6/11/09)
    • Complainant alleged that detention officer physically/sexually assaulted her during an aggressive pat-down search when officer squeezed detainee's breasts and genital area unnecessarily hard. (Complaint Received: 1/29/2010).
    • Eloy Detention Center

      16 allegations

      Florence Correctional Center
      Florence SPC Pinal County Adult Detention Center
      Eloy Detention Center
      8 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Officer allegedly witnessed potential sexual assault when he observed detainee grabbing the buttocks of other detainee while exiting cell. (Complaint Received: 11/6/2010).
  • California

    • El Centro Service Processing Center

      17 allegations

      El Centro Service Processing Center
      Yuba County Jail
      Santa Ana City Jail
      Otay Detention Facility
      and others
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that he/she has been the victim of discrimination, emotional and physical abuse, and was raped twice while handcuffed by guards at this facility before transfer. (Complaint received 05/2007)
    • Yuba County Jail

      17 allegations

      El Centro Service Processing Center
      Yuba County Jail
      Santa Ana City Jail
      Otay Detention Facility
      and others
      1 allegations

    • Santa Ana City Jail

      17 allegations

      El Centro Service Processing Center
      Yuba County Jail
      Santa Ana City Jail
      Otay Detention Facility
      and others
      3 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged h/she was inappropriately strip-searched, then denied personal hygeine items. (Complaint Received: 02/2010)
    • Complainant alleges that h/she was sexually assaulted while in transit to court by another detainee. (Complaint Received: 04/2011)
    • Otay Detention Facility

      17 allegations

      El Centro Service Processing Center
      Yuba County Jail
      Santa Ana City Jail
      Otay Detention Facility
      and others
      4 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that he/she was sexually assaulted by cell-mate while he/she was sleeping. (Complaint Received: 07/12/2010)
    • Complainant alleges that fellow detainee inappropriately touched his/her genitals in an act of unwanted sexual conduct, and threatened to hurt complainant if h/she reported the incident. (Complaint Received: 10/15/2009)
    • Complainant currently a detainee at Otay alleged that h/she was raped by a police officer while being transported from police department to local jail. (Complaint Received: 4/2/2010).
    • Facilities Unknown

      17 allegations

      El Centro Service Processing Center
      Yuba County Jail
      Santa Ana City Jail
      Otay Detention Facility
      and others
      8 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was repeatedly touched inappropriately while detained. (Complaint Received: 10/2007)
  • Colorado

    • Denver Contract Detention Facility

      4 allegations

      Denver Contract Detention Facility
      and others
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was subjected to verbal and sexual abuse by cellmate and other fellow detainees, and detention official ignored his/her complaints. (Complaint Received: 4/26/2010).
    • Facilities Unknown

      4 allegations

      Denver Contract Detention Facility
      and others
      3 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • An immigration attorney reported multiple alleged incidients of his/her client being sexually harassed while in ICE custody.(Complaint Received: 12/2007)
    • Complainant alleged that he had been verbally and sexually abused by fellow detainees. (Compliant Received 4/3/2010).
  • Florida

    • Baker County Facility

      12 allegations

      Baker County Facility
      Glades County Detention Center
      Wakulla County Facility
      Krome Service Processing Center
      and others
      1 allegations

    • Glades County Detention Center

      12 allegations

      Baker County Facility
      Glades County Detention Center
      Wakulla County Facility
      Krome Service Processing Center
      and others
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was forced by cell-mate to engage in an unwanted sexual encounter, and that cell-mate threatened to hurt him/her if h/she refused. (Complaint Received: 3/23/2010).
    • Wakulla County Facility

      12 allegations

      Baker County Facility
      Glades County Detention Center
      Wakulla County Facility
      Krome Service Processing Center
      and others
      2 allegations

    • Krome Service Processing Center

      12 allegations

      Baker County Facility
      Glades County Detention Center
      Wakulla County Facility
      Krome Service Processing Center
      and others
      3 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was sexually assaulted during a pat-down search by contract officers. (Complaint Received: 8/21/2009).
    • Facilities Unknown

      12 allegations

      Baker County Facility
      Glades County Detention Center
      Wakulla County Facility
      Krome Service Processing Center
      and others
      5 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Deputy sheriff allegedly intimidated 8 undocumented immigrants into performing sexual acts. (ICE Investigation Commenced 8/14/2009).
  • Georgia

    • Stewart Detention Center

      1 allegations

      Stewart Detention Center
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that his/her roommate first drugged him, then pulled down his/her pants and applied cream to his/her buttocks. (Complaint Received: 1/20/2010).
  • Illinois

    • McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility

      4 allegations

      McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility
      Tri-County Detention Center
      2 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged h/she was forced to shower and use the toilet in full view of many other detainees of the opposite sex and was groped by jail staff. (Complaint Received: 07/2010)
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was subjected to sexual, physical, and verbal abuse by detention officers as a result of transgender identity, including being inappropriately groped, denied HIV medication, and repeatedly taunted. (Complaint Received: 4/30/2010).
    • Tri-County Detention Center

      4 allegations

      McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility
      Tri-County Detention Center
      2 allegations

  • Louisiana

    • LaSalle Detention Facility

      2 allegations

      LaSalle Detention Facility
      Oakdale Federal Detention Center
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was forced to perform oral sex on a correctional officer while being held in a segregation cell. (Incident date: 03/2009)
    • Complainant alleged that staff officer touched him/her innappropriately during pat-down contraband search. (Complaint Received: 9/10/2009).
    • Oakdale Federal Detention Center

      2 allegations

      LaSalle Detention Facility
      Oakdale Federal Detention Center
      1 allegations

  • Massachusetts

    • Plymouth County Correctional Facility

      2 allegations

      Plymouth County Correctional Facility
      Suffolk County House of Corrections (South Bay)
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that on one occasion, h/she was stripped naked, sexually humiliated, and exposed to freezing cold and unsanitary conditions in solitary confinement. (Complaint received: 07/09/2007)
    • Suffolk County House of Corrections (South Bay)

      2 allegations

      Plymouth County Correctional Facility
      Suffolk County House of Corrections (South Bay)
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that an officer sexually assaulted him/her, then pulled down his/her pants in the cafeteria of the detention center and brought other detainees in to look at him/her. (Complaint received: 08/17/2010)
  • Maryland

    • Facility Unknown

      1 allegations

      Facility Unknown
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged the sexual assault of a detainee by and ICE agent during a raid in Annapolis. (Complaint Received: 06/2008).
  • Michigan

    • Calhoun County Correctional Center

      1 allegations

      Calhoun County Correctional Center
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged sexual harrassment by two deputies who suggested that the detainees should have sex with each other.(Complaint Received: 10/2008)
  • New Jersey

    • Facility Unknown

      4 allegations

      Hudson County Correctional Facility
      and others
      1 allegations

    • Facilities Unknown

      4 allegations

      Hudson County Correctional Facility
      and others
      1 allegations

    • Hudson County Correctional Facility

      4 allegations

      Hudson County Correctional Facility
      and others
      2 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was stripped naked, sprayed with pepper spray on his/her genitals, and sexually assaulted. (Complaint Received: 04/2010)
  • New Mexico

    • Otero County Processing Center

      4 allegations

      Otero County Processing Center
      4 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that while aggressively being searched before boarding a bus, a corrections officer lifted her shirt to expose her breasts to 40 other male detainees. (Complaint Received: 03/2010)
    • Complainant alleges that h/she is being sexually assaulted and harassed by fellow detainees because of his/her sexual orientation. Officers in the facility allegedly have offered to put him/her in solitary confinement for "safety." (Complaint Received: 09/2010)
  • Nevada

    • North Las Vegas Detention Center

      1 allegations

      North Las Vegas Detention Center
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was the victim of attempted sexual assault by a correctional officer. (04/30/2010)
  • New York

    • Orange County Correctional Facility

      5 allegations

      Orange County Correctional Facility
      and others
      2 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was subjected to inappropriately sexual touching by cellmate.(Complaint Received: 11/05/2009)
    • Facilities Unknown

      5 allegations

      Orange County Correctional Facility
      and others
      3 allegations

  • Pennsylvania

    • Lackawanna County Prison

      5 allegations

      Lackawanna County Prison
      Pike County Correctional Facility
      York County Prison
      1 allegations

    • Pike County Correctional Facility

      5 allegations

      Lackawanna County Prison
      Pike County Correctional Facility
      York County Prison
      1 allegations

    • York County Prison

      5 allegations

      Lackawanna County Prison
      Pike County Correctional Facility
      York County Prison
      3 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that he had been subjected to physical and sexual abuse by a York County prison official who had twice struck him in the face and pulled down his pants, tugged on his genitals, and ordered him to say "uncle." (Complaint Received: 1/20/2010).
    • Facility Unknown

      1 allegations

      Facility Unknown
      1 allegations

  • Rhode Island

  • South Carolina

    • Facility Unknown

      1 allegations

      Facility Unknown
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that fellow detainee and patient subjected him/her to a "forced sexual encounter." (Complaint Received 7/28/2010).
  • Tennessee

    • Facility Unknown

      2 allegations

      Facility Unknown
      2 allegations

      Complainant alleged the h/she had been sexually assaulted while in his/her bed by fellow detainee. (Complaint Received 9/3/2009).
  • Texas

    • Johnson County Detention Center

      56 allegations

      Johnson County Detention Center
      Houston Contract Detention Facility
      Polk County Adult Detention Center
      Laredo Contract Detention Facility
      South Texas Detention Facility
      T. Don Hutto Residential Center
      Port Isabel Service Processing Center
      El Paso Processing Center
      Willacy Detention Center
      and others
      1 allegations

    • Houston Contract Detention Facility

      56 allegations

      Johnson County Detention Center
      Houston Contract Detention Facility
      Polk County Adult Detention Center
      Laredo Contract Detention Facility
      South Texas Detention Facility
      T. Don Hutto Residential Center
      Port Isabel Service Processing Center
      El Paso Processing Center
      Willacy Detention Center
      and others
      2 allegations

    • Polk County Adult Detention Center

      56 allegations

      Johnson County Detention Center
      Houston Contract Detention Facility
      Polk County Adult Detention Center
      Laredo Contract Detention Facility
      South Texas Detention Facility
      T. Don Hutto Residential Center
      Port Isabel Service Processing Center
      El Paso Processing Center
      Willacy Detention Center
      and others
      2 allegations

    • Laredo Contract Detention Facility

      56 allegations

      Johnson County Detention Center
      Houston Contract Detention Facility
      Polk County Adult Detention Center
      Laredo Contract Detention Facility
      South Texas Detention Facility
      T. Don Hutto Residential Center
      Port Isabel Service Processing Center
      El Paso Processing Center
      Willacy Detention Center
      and others
      3 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • An ICE officer is alleged to have shoved a detainee against a wall and fondled him/her. (Complaint Received: 04/2008)
    • On more than one occasion, correctional officers allegedly requested a striptease dance from a detainee. These officers allegedly were aware that the detainee was formerly employeed as an exotic dancer at a local club. (Complaint Received: 11/2008)
    • South Texas Detention Facility

      56 allegations

      Johnson County Detention Center
      Houston Contract Detention Facility
      Polk County Adult Detention Center
      Laredo Contract Detention Facility
      South Texas Detention Facility
      T. Don Hutto Residential Center
      Port Isabel Service Processing Center
      El Paso Processing Center
      Willacy Detention Center
      and others
      4 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Detainee alleged that h/she was raped, reported the incident, then was transferred to Port Isabel Service Processing Center, where h/she has since attempted suicide and was placed in isolation. (Complaint Received: 05/29/2007)
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was the victim of numerous sexual assaults. (Complaint Received: 01/2008)
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was assaulted in the shower area, where h/she was forced to perform oral sex on an officer, dragged by his/her hair and then penetrated by the officer without a condom. (Complaint Received: 06/2009)
    • T. Don Hutto Residential Center

      56 allegations

      Johnson County Detention Center
      Houston Contract Detention Facility
      Polk County Adult Detention Center
      Laredo Contract Detention Facility
      South Texas Detention Facility
      T. Don Hutto Residential Center
      Port Isabel Service Processing Center
      El Paso Processing Center
      Willacy Detention Center
      and others
      5 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • A female detainee allegedly was sexually assaulted by an officer. (Complaint Received: 05/2007).
    • Port Isabel Service Processing Center

      56 allegations

      Johnson County Detention Center
      Houston Contract Detention Facility
      Polk County Adult Detention Center
      Laredo Contract Detention Facility
      South Texas Detention Facility
      T. Don Hutto Residential Center
      Port Isabel Service Processing Center
      El Paso Processing Center
      Willacy Detention Center
      and others
      6 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • An ICE detainee alleged that h/she was raped by an officer, then placed in isolation as punishment for reporting the incident. (Complaint Received: 08/2007)
    • El Paso Processing Center

      56 allegations

      Johnson County Detention Center
      Houston Contract Detention Facility
      Polk County Adult Detention Center
      Laredo Contract Detention Facility
      South Texas Detention Facility
      T. Don Hutto Residential Center
      Port Isabel Service Processing Center
      El Paso Processing Center
      Willacy Detention Center
      and others
      8 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • A detainee alleged that h/she was inappropriately touched in the groin area and butt at his/her residence by an ICE officer on the morning of his/her arrest. (Complaint Received: 07/2008)
    • Complainant alleges that fellow detainee repeatedly made unwanted physical and verbal sexual advances toward him/her while sharing dorm. (Complaint Received: 7/21/2010).
    • Willacy Detention Center

      56 allegations

      Johnson County Detention Center
      Houston Contract Detention Facility
      Polk County Adult Detention Center
      Laredo Contract Detention Facility
      South Texas Detention Facility
      T. Don Hutto Residential Center
      Port Isabel Service Processing Center
      El Paso Processing Center
      Willacy Detention Center
      and others
      12 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that detainees were being raped by corrections officers. (Complaint Received: 06/2009)
    • Facilities Unknown

      56 allegations

      Johnson County Detention Center
      Houston Contract Detention Facility
      Polk County Adult Detention Center
      Laredo Contract Detention Facility
      South Texas Detention Facility
      T. Don Hutto Residential Center
      Port Isabel Service Processing Center
      El Paso Processing Center
      Willacy Detention Center
      and others
      13 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was asked by an officer for a photo and contact information so that h/she could "get together" after being released.(Complaint Received: 04/2007)
    • ICE Security Officer is alleged to have sexually abused three detainees. (Complaint Received: 05/2008)
    • Complainant alleged that h/she had been in an ongoing sexual relationship with an ICE officer, who had at one time sexually assaulted him/her during his/her stay in medical center
    • Prison official employed by contractor allegedly had engaged in sexual intercourse with a detainee minor. (Report Received 4/1/2010)
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was forced to perform oral sex on a border patrol officer in exchange for being allowed to remain in Texas. (Complaint Received: 1/26/2010).
  • Virginia

    • Rappahannock Regional Facility

      7 allegations

      Rappahannock Regional Facility
      Hampton Roads Regional Jail
      2 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was repeatedly sexually harassed and assaulted by his/her cellmate, but his/her complaints were repeatedly ignored by officers in the detention facility. (Complaint Received: 06/2010)
    • Hampton Roads Regional Jail

      7 allegations

      Rappahannock Regional Facility
      Hampton Roads Regional Jail
      5 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was raped by unidentified fellow detainee. (Complaint Received 4/20/2010)
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was sexually assaulted by a fellow detainee wielding a knife, and was also physically attacked by a friend of the initial assailant. (Complaint Received: 10/26/2009).
  • Washington

    • Tacoma Northwest Detention Center

      5 allegations

      Tacoma Northwest Detention Center
      and others
      4 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was repeatedly raped, assaulted, and harassed by the same individual at the facility. (Complaint Received: 04/2011)
    • Complainant alleged that he/she was sexually assaulted and beaten by a group of fellow detainees in the bathroom area of the facility, resulting in several injuries requiring medical attention. (Complaint Received: 5/24/2010).
    • Facilities Unknown

      5 allegations

      Tacoma Northwest Detention Center
      and others
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that fellow detainee had sexually harassed him, leading to a physical altercation between them. (Complaint Received 1/19/2011).
  • Wisconsin

    • Kenosha County Detention Center

      1 allegations

      Kenosha County Detention Center
      1 allegations

      Examples of alleged incidents regarding this facility
    • Complainant alleged that h/she was physically and sexually abused by inmates while detained. (Complaint received 12/2009)
Sexual Abuse in Immigration Detention »

In January 2011, the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request with several components of the United States Department of Homeland Security, including the Office of Inspector General, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, seeking all documents in their possession related to the sexual abuse of detainees in immigration detention facilities. While the information gleaned from the documents we have thus far received is surely just the tip of the iceberg, and while these documents generally describe allegations rather than proven incidents, the results summarized above nonetheless paint a very instructive picture about how widespread this problem is and how vulnerable to abuse immigration detainees can be.

The documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act request contain nearly 200 allegations of abuse in immigration detention facilities across the nation. And given that sexual abuse is a problem that is widely underreported in the outside world, there’s little question that number does not fully represent the scope of the problem. But one thing is clear: the sexual abuse of immigration detainees is not an isolated problem, limited to one rogue facility or merely the result of a handful of bad apple government contractors who staff some of the nation’s immigration detention centers. As our documents show and the map above depicts, while centers in Texas resulted in the largest number of allegations, sexual abuse allegations have come from nearly every state that houses an immigration detention center. The data crystallizes the urgent need for the government to admit just how pervasive a problem sexual abuse is in its immigration jails and to take immediate steps to ensure that all detainees are protected.

By scrolling over each state, you can see how many allegations from that state are shown in the documents and each of the individual facilities from which complaints have been received. Click on the state for more detailed information. For more information about the methodology used to arrive at the information above, and how allegations were counted, click here.
 

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