Immigrant Detainees Sexually Assaulted

The American Civil Liberties Union is highlighting ongoing abuses at a private immigration prison in Texas.

The American Civil Liberties Union is investigating allegations that female inmates at the T. Don Hutto immigration detention facility -- a for-profit prison in Taylor, Texas, operated by the Corrections Corporation of America -- have been sexually abused.

Donald Charles Dunn, a resident supervisor at the facility was charged with sexually abusing numerous female immigration detainees this week. According to the ACLU, Dunn "is accused of abusing the detainees as he was transporting them to the airport after they had been released on bond and has allegedly admitted to telling the women that he was going to 'frisk' them before touching their breasts and genital areas for his gratification." Dunn is being charged with official oppression and unlawful restraint. 

"The sexual abuse of numerous immigration detainees at Hutto underscores the systemic failures that continue to plague our nation's broken immigration detention system," said Vanita Gupta, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU. "The irony is that ICE touts Hutto as a flagship facility, emblematic of its commitment to reform. [Yet] ICE has ignored repeated calls for increased and independent oversight and accountability of its immigration detention facilities and the private contractors like CCA who run them, and tragedies like this are the unfortunate result. It is time for ICE officials to live up to their promise of creating a ‘truly civil' immigration detention system that does not tolerate the abuse and degradation of its detainees."

According to a suit filed by the ACLU, children as young as 3 years old were detained along with their parents at the Hutto facility. Before the lawsuit was settled by the government, children were dressed in prison garb and guards disciplined them by "threatening to separate them from their parents." 

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. Drop him an email or Follow him on Twitter.
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