"In the meantime, Monterrosa remains at Hutto, where she says she has experienced retaliation as a result of speaking out. She has described it as 'hell.' 'I don’t go to the dining area. I don’t go to any of the recreation areas because I’m so scared I’ll see [the guard who assaulted me] in the hallways,' she said when we spoke on January 4. By that point, she said she hadn’t been to the dining area in two weeks and had stopped eating altogether once she ran out of money on her commissary account. She said she was threatened with disciplinary action for refusing eat. A week after we last spoke, Monterrosa tried to kill herself by overdosing on pain medication that had been left in her room by Hutto medical staff. According to Grassroots Leadership, she ingested 51 prescription pills. The following day, she was finally told that the guard who assaulted her was being transferred to a different facility." [node:read-more:link]
"'This case is heart-wrenching,' said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership. 'We learned from Laura that she attempted to kill herself just after learning that she was going to be punished because she refused to eat in the same cafeteria where her abuser is now assigned. It's just inhumane to force this victim of sexual abuse to have to relive that abuse everyday by being forced to confront her abuser over and over again. Laura can't escape this pain, she can't get the treatment she needs.'" [node:read-more:link]
“'This case is heartwrenching; we learned from Laura that she attempted to kill herself just after learning that she was going to be punished because she refused to eat in the same cafeteria where her abuser is now assigned.' Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership, said in a statement. 'It’s just inhumane to force this victim of sexual abuse to have to relive that abuse everyday by being forced to confront her abuser over and over again. Laura can’t escape this pain, she can’t get the treatment she needs.'
[...] 'There are enough eyes looking at this that something should have happened already to make sure that Laura is in a safe place. No victim of sexual abuse should be forced to live with their abuser,' Bethany Carson, immigration researcher and organizer at Grassroots Leadership, said in a statement. 'We are asking Sen. Cornyn in the name of the rule of law to ask that ICE immediately release Laura pending this investigation.”' [node:read-more:link]
Per altri invece non esiste un buon contratto, le prigioni private non devono esistere. "Sia la Cca che la Geo hanno un pessimo record, basano i propri profitti sulle sofferenze altrui, non c’è spazio per questo tipo di aziende", ha detto a Il Caffè il direttore dell’organizzazione Grassroots Leadership Bob Libal che si batte per l’abolizione delle prigioni private.
Sia la Geo che la Cca sono state contattate ma non hanno risposto alla nostra richiesta di un’intervista.
Qualche giorno fa, il 9 novembre, Grassroots Leadership ha ricevuto una lettera dal centro di detenzione per migranti T. Don Hutto a Taylor, in Texas. Una detenuta, Laura Monterrosa, ha scritto per denunciare un abuso sessuale subito da parte di due guardie. Il centro di detenzione in questione, che porta il nome del fondatore della Cca, è già stato al centro di scandali negli anni scorsi quando alcune guardie sono state accusate, e giudicate colpevoli, di violenza sessuale. Secondo l’organizzazione Grassroots Leadership, tra il 2010 e il 2016, il dipartimento di Homeland Security, l’agenzia che gestisce i centri di detenzione per migranti, ha indagato meno dell’un per cento delle 30mila denunce di abusi fisici e sessuali. Ora spetta allo sceriffo della contea di Williamson, Robert Chody, decidere se indagare sul caso di Monterrosa. [node:read-more:link]
"Two more women have accused guards at a Williamson County federal immigration detention center of sexual misconduct following another immigrant detainee’s recent accusation of being sexually assaulted at the Taylor facility.
'I want to be clear it's very much a jail,' said Claudia Muñoz of the immigration rights group, Grassroots Leadership." [node:read-more:link]
(AUSTIN, Texas) — This week, two additional women joined Laura Monterrosa in speaking out about sexual abuse at Hutto. One woman currently detained in Laredo, “Ana”, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of further retaliation said in a visit with Grassroots Leadership staff: [node:read-more:link]
"The non-profit organization, Grassroots Leadership, received a letter detailing sexual assaults against two women at the T. Don Hutto Residential center.
According to a press release, Laura Monterrosa sent the letter, from inside the center, describing her ongoing sexual assault by a female guard. She also wrote about another woman who was abused by two other guards.
'Speaking out about sexual abuse perpetrated by a guard while still detained takes incredible courage,' said Bethany Carson, immigration researcher and organizer at Grassroots Leadership. 'As ICE has proven incapable of taking reports of abuse seriously, the least the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office can do is immediately launch a just and transparent investigation into reports of sexual abuse by guards at Hutto.'" [node:read-more:link]
AUSTIN — A letter received by advocates at Grassroots Leadership last week from inside the Hutto immigrant detention center describes sexual assaults against two women at the T. Don Hutto immigrant detention center in Taylor, Texas and names two different guards as perpetrators. Laura Monterrosa describes a pattern of sexual assault at Hutto that she has endured since June. [node:read-more:link]
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is soliciting private-sector interest in a new detention center to hold 1,000 people in South Texas, according to a notice posted Wednesday on a federal contracting site.
The post is a preliminary request for information, asking for room to house men and women within 50 miles of I-35. ICE said its preference is for a facility dedicated to holding its detainees, but it would consider a large facility with inmates from another agency. The agency said it will consider pre-existing facilities, renovated old facilities or new construction.
The contract would mean more good news for the private prison industry, which has rebounded quickly under President Donald Trump. A year ago, the federal government seemed poised to end deals with the private prison industry’s biggest players, after federal inspectors noted safety concerns in their facilities.
The new South Texas facility likely would be the largest since then, according to Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, a Texas-based nonprofit that tracks private prisons and advocates against expanding them.
“This would continue the trend of this administration’s giveaways to the private prison industry at the expense of immigrants that it’s targeting for deportation,” Libal said. The region already is home to many of ICE’s largest detention centers, in remote towns without easy access to legal help, he said.
“I would question the logic behind this,” he said, “because from what we’ve heard, for the most part, asylum-seeking folks, that population hasdeclined in the first few months, while internal apprehensions have increased.” [node:read-more:link]