New Directive Issued on Use of Solitary Confinement in Immigration Detention

September 5, 2013 10:59 am

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) yesterday released a new directive regulating the use of solitary confinement in ICE detention that applies to all ICE detention facilities nationwide. The new policy substantially increases ICE's monitoring of the use of solitary confinement and sets important limits on its use, especially for vulnerable populations, such as individuals with mental disabilities and alleged victims of sexual assault.

"The new ICE directive sets a good example for the prison system writ large when it comes to monitoring the use of solitary confinement," said Ruthie Epstein, American Civil Liberties Union legislative policy analyst. "It also sets important limits on the use of solitary confinement. Solitary confinement in both immigration detention and the criminal justice system is cruel, expensive, and ineffective. If strictly enforced throughout the ICE detention system – including at county jails and contract facilities – ICE's new policy could represent significant progress in curtailing this inhumane practice."

The directive follows up on former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's commitment made in March to conduct a review of ICE's solitary confinement practices. The ACLU will closely monitor the implementation of the new directive in the coming months.

The new ICE directive is available here:

More on solitary confinement and immigration detention is available at:

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