United States Locked Away

Immigration Detainees in Jails in the United States

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is currently housing more than 60 percent of its 15,000 detainees in local jails throughout the country. Faced with an overwhelming, immediate demand for detention space, the agency has handed over control of its detainees to local sheriffs and other jail officials without ensuring that basic international and national standards requiring humane treatment and adequate conditions are met. INS detainees, including asylum seekers, are being held in jails entirely inappropriate to their non-criminal status where they may be mixed with accused and convicted criminal inmates, and where they are sometimes subjected to physical mistreatment and grossly inadequate conditions of confinement.