Friday, October 5, 2012

ICE Directive on Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention

On May 11, 2012, ICE Director John Morton issued a Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention Directive.  The directive acknowledges the existence of "significant incidents of sexual abuse or assault of individuals in ICE custody."

The directive specifically addresses situations where ICE employees sexually assault immigrant detainees. Unfortunately, at the time the directive was written ICE had no upper-level individual designated to oversee the directive.  I do not know if one is in place now, or if the directive is being internally enforced. 

It provides for ICE employee "training" to, among other things, reinforce "ICE's zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse and assault." The directive further provides that "ICE personnel may not retaliate against individuals who report sexual abuse or assault."  

That being said, solitary confinement for victims of sexual assault has been limited to five days "except in highly unusual circumstances."

It does NOT provide for victims of sexual assault to be released from custody, but they will be placed "in a supportive environment that represents the least restrictive housing option possible."

As for the ICE employee accused of raping an immigrant, the directive provides that individuals suspected of perpetrating sexual abuse or assault will be "removed from all duties requiring detainee contact pending the outcome of an investigation."  It does not, however, provide for the removal of the employee from the facility where they have been accused of raping someone.

The directive also includes the following disclaimer:
This document is an internal policy statement of ICE. It is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any administrative, civil, or criminal matter.
Par for the course.

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