“Laura is adjusting to her new environment and recovering from the trauma she has experienced,” Grassroots Leadership said in a statement. “Advocates will follow-up with a statement from Laura in the coming days.” [node:read-more:link]
AUSTIN — Today a federal judge in Austin heard the habeas corpus petition and temporary restraining order in the case of Laura Monterrosa, who has been speaking out about her sexual assault by a guard at the T. Don Hutto detention center. ICE and CoreCivic respondents were forced to provide Ms. Monterrosa with outside mental health treatment after expert witnesses who had provided psychological and psychiatric assessments for Ms. [node:read-more:link]
"According to Grassroots Leadership and advocates, 'over the past four months, community advocates have witnessed ICE and CoreCivic’s retaliation tactics against Laura escalate from verbal aggression to threats of administrative discipline and indefinite periods of confinement.' Following 60 hours in solitary—which is torture—'advocates are calling on the Taylor Police Department to investigate ICE’s intimidation of Laura':
'This should not be happening in America. Here you have a woman who came forward to report rampant sexual abuse inside of a federal facility. Instead of protecting her, and ensuring the abuse stops, ICE is now putting Laura in solitary confinement with the expressed intent of tearing her down so she will do as they say. This is against the law. There is an ongoing FBI investigation and ICE is trying to convince this witness to change her story.' said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership. 'This is one of the most egregious abuses I have ever witnessed.”'
"Bethany Carson, an immigration policy researcher for Grassroots Leadership, told Salon that after Monterrosa wrote the letter, things got worse for her. Carson described an escalating series of tactics — especially the use of solitary confinement — that she believed were meant to intimidate Monterrosa into retracting her accusations against the guard, which Monterrosa hasn't done. Carson also says Monterrosa has been subjected to ongoing interactions with her alleged abuser, which has led to Monterrosa hiding in her room, refusing food and feeling afraid to walk around the facility for fear of confrontation.
In January, Carson said, Monterrosa 'called me and told me that she had taken over 50 pills, mostly pain medication.' Carson then described a series of intense phone calls with officials as she tried, from outside, to get help. Officials at the facility ultimately intervened to saved Monterrosa's life, Carson said." [node:read-more:link]
"Two for-profit prison companies—the GEO Group and CoreCivic (formerly the Corrections Corporation of America) hold 72 percent of privately contracted immigration detention beds, according to a 2015 report from Grassroots Leadership, a non-profit whose mission is to shut down for-profit prison facilities. Both have seen their profits spike under Donald Trump’s presidency. And they could continue to benefit even more: Trump’s 2018 budget plan requested an increase in the number of available immigrant detention beds to over 48,000." [node:read-more:link]