Thursday, August 6, 2009

U.S. to Reform Policy on Detention for Immigrants

New York Times
Published: August 5, 2009

The Obama administration intends to announce an ambitious plan on Thursday
to overhaul the much-criticized way the nation detains immigration
violators, trying to transform it from a patchwork of jail and prison cells to
what its new chief called a “truly civil detention system.”

Details are sketchy, and even the first steps will take months or years to
complete. They include reviewing the federal government’s contracts with more
than 350 local jails and private prisons, with an eye toward consolidating many
detainees in places more suitable for noncriminals facing deportation — some
possibly in centers built and run by the government.

The plan aims to establish more centralized authority over the system,
which holds about 400,000 immigration detainees over the course of a year, and
more direct oversight of detention centers that have come under fire for
mistreatment of detainees and substandard — sometimes fatal — medical care.


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