Immigrants Mistreated At High Desert Prison, 29 Congress Members Say

ADELANTO—Mistreatment and inadequate care of foreign-born prisoners housed at the privately-run prison in Adelanto under a contract with the federal government has drawn the attention of 29 members of Congress.
Based on these alleged shortcomings at the Adelanto Detention Center, the lawmakers have requested that the expansion of the facility be curtailed.
On Tuesday, Congress members Judy Chu, Karen Bass, Cedric Richmond, Marc Vessey, Michelle Grisham, Janice Hahn, Juan Vargas, Pete Aguilar, Raul Grijalva, Grace Napolitano, Mark Takano, Theodore Deutch, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith, Barbara Lee, Ruben Hinojosa, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Tony Cardenas, Norma Torres, James McGovern, Adam Schiff, Luis Gutierrez, John Conyers, Zoe Lofgren, Michael Honda, and Linda Sanchez sent a letter to Sarah Saldana, the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth.
The letter stated, “We are deeply concerned about the treatment of immigration detainees at the Adelanto Detention Center operated by CEO Group in Adelanto California In particular, we are concerned by reports indicating that CEO Group, Inc. is failing to provide adequate medical treatment to detainees in their custody at ADC.”
The letter called upon the U.S. Department of Justice to initiate an investigation.
The letter cited several cases, including that of Raul Ernesto Morales-Ramos, who was detained for five years at the Adelanto facility and died after GEO failed to diagnose and treat his intestinal cancer; Geraldo Correlas, a
partially paralyzed nineteen-year-old detained at the Adelanto Detention Center who developed a urinary tract infection after GEO failed to sanitize catheters and instructed Correlas to recycle the ones he had already used; the denial of treatment to a detainee with Hepatitis C because his length of stay was uncertain; the denial of medically necessary headgear for a detainee with sever epilepsy who was prone to violent seizures; the denial of treatment to a detainee with a serious hip infection because it was too expensive; the failure to perform diagnostic tests on a detainee suffering from extreme headaches, dizziness and loss of vision; the denial of meal accommodations and sufficient pain medication for a detainee suffering from severe sickle-cell anemia; the denial of surgery to correct mobility issues with a stroke victim’s arm; and the denial of back surgery for a detainee with a slipped disc because his injury occurred in prison and his stay at Adelanto was going to be brief.
CEO Group operates the facility on a contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Office, currently housing roughly 1,300 inmates there. Immigration and Cuctoms Enforcement officials intend to expand the capacity by another 640 beds, some 259 of those to be located in a cell block for women. At present, no women are housed there.
Because of “medical negligence” at the facility, the Congress members said they wanted to have those expansion plans halted. The letter also called for the agency to dispense with the ongoing transfer of gay and female transgender and bisexual detainees into the center.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials want the expansion at the Adelanto facility to take place because it will increase the agency’s capacity to house female immigrant detainees in Southern California, where there are fewer than 110 total beds for women available and currently under 30 that are unfilled.
GEO Group did not comment on the letter. A spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said its prisoners are treated humanely and provided with adequate medical care.

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