The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general found spoiled food, unusable toilets and inadequate recreation time during surprise visits to four immigration detention facilities last year, reports Courthouse News Service. Between May and November 2018, the department’s Office of Inspector General visited four facilities that are contracted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to house detained immigrants. A report issued Thursday said all four locations had issues with rotting food, which puts detainees at risk for foodborne illnesses. The centers are in California, Louisiana, New Jersey and Colorado.
“Our observations of all four facility kitchens indicated some level of noncompliance with ICE standards. We observed spoiled and moldy food in kitchen refrigerators, as well as food past its expiration date,” the report says. While the report highlights common issues such as mishandled or expired food discovered during last year’s inspections, it notes that most locations were found to have their own problems related to living conditions. “At three facilities, we found that segregation practices violated standards and infringed on detainee rights. Two facilities failed to provide recreation outside detainee housing units. Bathrooms in two facilities’ detainee housing units were dilapidated and moldy,” says the report. The inspector general issued reports to ICE after visiting the detention facility in Adelanto, Ca., and the jail contracted by the agency in Essex County, N.J. Jersey. The reported violations at those facilities include nooses found in detainee cells, overly restrictive segregation, inadequate medical care and unreported security incidents, in addition to the food safety issues.