Resource: Pocketing a Pretty Penny: Sexual Victimization, Human Rights, and Private Contractors in the U.S. Immigration Detention System

By: Grace Trueman

May 1, 2011

University of Detroit Mercy Law Review

Aliens held in the U.S. immigration detention system experience
sexual victimization from both fellow detainees and detention facility
employees. The extent of such abuse is unknown due to discretionary
reporting requirements and fear amongst the detainees. However,
graphic reports have surfaced, telling a chilling tale of the U.S.
immigration detention facilities. These incidents of abuse implicate violations of international human rights. In addition to violating human rights, the incidents of detainee sexual victimization reveal the inadequacies and fundamental problems within the U.S. detention system. One such fundamental problem arises from the use of private contractors in detention. These contractors are not required to follow government standards. In addition, private contractors seek to make a pretty penny at the expense of detainees. This myriad of problems will persist, unless the U.S. takes action and eliminates private contractors.

To begin this critique of the U.S. immigration detention system, this
Comment will first lay a foundation of the processes an alien must go
through to gain admittance to the U.S. or to face removal. Second, this Comment will examine the current detention system in place for aliens.
Incidents of sexual victimization within the U.S. detention system pose a unique challenge to the U.S. Government and Immigration Customs
Enforcement ("ICE") in their efforts to effectively oversee almost 350
facilities housing the immigration detainee population.' Third, this
Comment examines private contractors and their role in the problems
plaguing the immigration detention system. Fourth, this Comment details the current international laws violated by U.S. detainee sexual
victimization. In conclusion, this Comment proposes a practical solution to the persistent problems plaguing the immigration detention system: elimination of contract detention facilities.