ACLU of Southern California is among the groups calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to investigate the substandard medical care at Adelanto Detention facility. The ACLU and nine other legal service providers and human rights organizations list numerous instances that place detainees at unnecessary risk.
“It goes above and beyond individual cases,” ACLU attorney Michael Kaufman said in a phone interview with the San Bernardino County Sun. “What we’ve seen is a systemic pattern of delaying treatment, misdiagnosing or just not giving treatment. We’ve seen that for years now across many different detainees.”
Contrary to the ACLU reports, Pablo E. Paez of the GEO Group says the Adelanto facility had a score of 100 percent in its most-recent American Correctional Association review. The GEO Group has had a public-private partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs.
However, the ACLU letter points to problems at other facilities around the world operated by GEO. A 2012 Department of Justice report found “systematic, egregious, and dangerous practices,” including inadequate medical care, at a GEO Group facility in Mississippi and deaths at other facilities as recently as March when GEO Group was found negligent in prisoners’ deaths.
GEO Group plans to add 640 beds, house women and LGBT individuals there for the first time, the newspaper reported.
In a letter to ICE, ACLU requests immediate intervention to ensure the health and safety of the current and future detainees housed at Adelanto. They also request steps be taken to appoint an independent investigator and that plans to expand the site stop due to errors by staff.
ICE found that the death of Mexican immigrant Fernando Dominguez was due to “egregious errors” committed by medical staff, the letter noted.
The ACLU points to a second death it says was also caused by inadequate medical care.