Private ICE Center Ordered Solitary After Protest

A privately run Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in rural Georgia locked an immigrant detainee in solitary confinement in November as punishment for encouraging fellow detainees to stop working in a labor program that ICE says is strictly voluntary.

A privately run Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in rural Georgia locked an immigrant detainee in solitary confinement in November as punishment for encouraging fellow detainees to stop working in a labor program that ICE says is strictly voluntary, The Intercept reports. Shoaib Ahmed, 24, who immigrated to the U.S. to escape political persecution in Bangladesh, said the center placed him in isolation for 10 days after an officer overheard him simply saying “no work tomorrow.” Ahmed said he was expressing frustration over the detention center — run by prison contractor CoreCivic — having delayed his weekly paycheck of $20 for work in the facility’s kitchen. Those in ICE custody often work for as little as $1 per day and cannot legally be compelled to work.

Ahmed’s account adds to a growing chorus of ICE detainees who allege that they have been forced to work in for-profit ICE facilities or risk punishment with solitary confinement — a harsh form of captivity that, if prolonged, can amount to torture. Last month, ICE detainees at a CoreCivic facility in California sued the private prison contractor, alleging that they had been threatened with solitary confinement if they did not work. CoreCivic has said that its practices of segregating detainees in individual cells are humane and has disputed the term “solitary confinement,” arguing that its harsh connotation does not apply to the publicly traded firm’s practices. Ahmed said, “The room is at all times locked. If you talk, the sound does not go outside. And nobody comes to talk with us.” Once a day, officers handcuffed Ahmed and escorted him outdoors for an hour in a recreation yard, which he described as a “cage” for one person. Three times a week, detainees in solitary confinement were given the opportunity to shower.

from https://thecrimereport.org