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INS Detention Standards Compliance Audit - Dorchester Detention Center, Cambridge, MD, 2004

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Detention Standards Implementation Initiative

ABA Commission on Immigration

Facility Name: Dorchester Detention Center (DDC); Cambridge, MD
Date of Tour: July 13, 2004
Tour Participants:
(Bracewell & Patterson, L.L.P.)
ICE Standard

Detainee
Services
Standard 16
– Telephone
Access

Detainee
Services
Standard 1 –
Access to
Legal
Material

 III(E) – “Even if telephone service
is generally limited to collect calls,
the facility shall permit the
detainee to make direct calls to
[courts, the BIA, legal service
providers, and after demonstrating
compelling need in a
family/personal emergency.]”
 III(C) – “The law library shall
contain the materials listed in
Attachment A. INS shall provide
an initial set of these materials.
The facility shall post a list of its
holdings in the law library.”

(b)(6)

Delegation Observation

Source

ICE
Response

 The only free, direct-call private phone
is located in the ICE liason’s office;
phones in the detainee housing are not
private and allow only collect calls and
calls placed through calling cards.

 Interview
detainees

(b)(6)

(b)(6)

 The vast majority of the books in the
 Interview with
library were for leisure reading. The
DCC Warden
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
library also had a rolling bookcase with
three shelves on each side - the
delegation
inmates’ law library. It consisted of a
observations
variety of state and federal criminal law
and procedure books, though several
years old. This inmates’ law library
contained bound volumes of
immigration decisions through 1998.
 The library also had a locked room
located at the far back wall with a
window affording viewing inside.
Warden Williams indicated this room
contained the ICE law library books as

Detention Standards Implementation Initiative

Detainee
Services
Standard 9 –
Group
Presentations
of Legal
Rights

Detainee
Services
Standard 13
– Recreation

Detainee

ABA Commission on Immigration

well as a variety of other materials used
by the facility (e.g., GED books).
 ICE and DDC staff stated that the DDC
meets its library requirement for
immigration materials through
providing a Lexis database on CDROM (in an unopened sleeve).
 I – “Facilities holding INS
 DDC does not allow groups to make

detainees shall permit authorized
presentations to detainees, because this
persons to make presentations to
would disrupt operations of the facility
groups of detainees for the purpose
and also amount to solicitation of
of informing them of U.S.
business by these groups.
immigration law and procedures,
consistent with the security and
orderly operation of each facility.”
 III(B) – “If outdoor recreation is
 Weather permitting, detainees are

available at the facility, each
allowed one hour of outdoor recreation
detainee shall have access for at
twice per week.
least one hour daily, at a
 Attorney visitation time, and possibly

reasonable time of day, five days a
library time, can conflict with the
week, weather permitting. If only
gymnasium portion of detainees’
indoor recreation is available,
indoor recreation time.
detainees shall have access for at
 Detainees receiving pain medication
least one hour each day and shall
are denied recreation time.
have access to natural light. Under
no circumstances will the facility
require detainees to forgo basic
law library privileges for
recreation privileges.”
 III(H) – “[Segregated] detainees
 DDC policy appears to take the

shall be offered at least one hour
position that recreation (in particular,

Interview with
(b)(6), (b)(7)c

Interview with
DDC Warden
(b)(6), (b)(7)c

Interview with
DDC Warden
(b)(6), (b)(7)c ;
Interview with
ICE Supervisor
(b)(6), (b)(7)c ;
detaineedelegation
interviews

Interview with
DDC Warden

Detention Standards Implementation Initiative

Services
Standard 13
– Recreation

Detainee
Services
Standard 18
– Voluntary
Work
Program

of recreation per day, scheduled at
a reasonable time, at least five
days per week. This privilege shall
be waived only if the detainee’s
recreation[n] would unreasonably
endanger safety/security.”
 I – “Every facility with a work
program will provide detainees the
opportunity to work and earn
money.”

ABA Commission on Immigration

(b)(6), (b)(7)c
physical recreation either outdoors or in
the gymnasium) is a privilege. As
such, detainees domiciled in locations
other than the detainee pods (e.g.,
special management units, the DDC
medical wing, etc.) forego recreation.
 The DDC does maintain a voluntary,
 Delegation
compensated work program. However,
observation;
Warden Williams initially stated that,
Interview with
in his understanding, the ICE does not
DDC Warden
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
allow detainees to work for pay at all.
Nonetheless, Warden Williams has
made exceptions to what he understood
was ICE policy by permitting certain
detainees who he believes are indigent
and truly in need of money to work.

MEMORANDUM
To:

Victor Cerda, Acting Director, Office of Detention and Removal, Immigration and
Customs Enforcement

From: American Bar Association Delegation to Dorchester Detention Center1
Re:

Compliance with ICE Detention Standards at the Dorchester Detention Center facility

Date: September 13, 2004
This memorandum summarizes and evaluates information gathered at the Dorchester
Detention Center in Cambridge, Maryland (“DDC”), through discussions with DDC and local
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) personnel, interviews with ICE detainees
(“detainees”), and observations by delegation members during the delegation’s July 13, 2004,
visit.
I.

INS/ICE DETENTION STANDARDS

The Immigration and Naturalization Service promulgated the “INS Detention Standards”
(“Standards”) in November 2000 to ensure the “safe, secure and humane treatment of individuals
detained by the INS.” The Standards contained in the Detention Operations Manual cover a
broad range of issues falling within the categories of detainee services (such as access to legal
materials and recreational opportunities), security and control (such as disciplinary policy and
use of force), and health services. The Standards apply to INS Service Processing Centers
(“SPC”), Contract Detention Facilities (“CDF”), and state and local government facilities used
by the INS (now the ICE) through Intergovernmental Service Agreements (“IGSA”). The
Detention Standards went into effect at INS SPCs on January 1, 2001. The INS intended to
phase-in the standards in all of the CDFs and IGSAs by the end of 2002.
The Standards constitute a “floor” rather than a “ceiling” for treatment of ICE detainees,
i.e., they establish the minimal requirements that ICE must adhere to in its facilities. Each
District Office or Officer in Charge (“OIC”) may, in his or her discretion, promulgate policies
and practices affording detainees more enhanced rights and protections than those provided for
by the Standards.
II.

INTRODUCTION
A.

The Delegation’s July 13 Visit

On Tuesday, July 13, 2004, the members of our delegation toured the DDC
located at 829 Fieldcrest Road, Cambridge, Maryland. We initially met with Warden
1

The delegation was comprised of
associates at Bracewell & Patterson, L.L.P., an
and summer associates at Bracewell & Patterson, L.L.P.

(b)(6)
(b)(6)

, and
s

(b)(6), (b)(7)c

(b)(6)

who has been Warden of the DDC since 1993, and two ICE representatives, (b)(6), (b)(7)c
(b)(6), (b)(7)c ICE Supervisor of Detention, and
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
of the ICE’s Baltimore Field Office.
In the course of our tour of the DDC facilities, we also met with several members of the DDC
staff, including officers responsible for security, administrative and educational programs, and
internal grievance procedures. The tour covered visitation areas, the kitchen, library, indoor
gym, an outdoor recreation area, segregation cells, the medical wing for male inmates and
detainees, the laundry room, and the hallways around the detainee habitation areas (pods), which
we could view through large windows. After the tour, we met with eight male detainees whom
we interviewed individually, without DDC staff present, about their experiences in the facility.
On account of not having a Spanish speaker in our delegation, we could not interview any
Spanish-speaking detainees who did not speak English. Where appropriate, this report will
attribute statements to the particular individual who made them.
(b)(6), (b)(7)c

B.

General Information about DDC

The DDC is an IGSA that has been housing detainees under contract with the ICE since
1993. Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c informed us that, at the time of our visit, the DDC had a total population
of 161 prisoners, 139 male and 22 female. Of this total, there were 52 detainees with the
remainder of the population comprised of American prisoners (referred to herein as “inmates”)
associated with the criminal justice system of Dorchester County and local surrounding area. The
inmates average seven-month jail times. Of the 52 detainees, 47 were male and 5 were female.
The DDC houses detainees from countries such as Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, the
Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad, Morocco, Iran, Russia, Ethiopia, Singapore, and
Portugal. Although the DDC did not provide us with a breakdown by country of origin for the
detainees, it appeared that approximately half were from Central and South American countries,
with many of the rest hailing from Caribbean nations. According to the ICE officials, these
detainees were received from the Maryland, Delaware, and southern Pennsylvania region. Based
on our interviews and statements by the DDC and ICE Staff, it appears that most of the detainees
housed at DDC have criminal records and were transferred from prison/jail facilities in the above
areas after serving their sentences for criminal convictions. We were unable to ascertain how
much the ICE pays the DDC per day to house the detainees, but Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c said the
amount has not changed in many years.
Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c emphasized in our initial meeting that DDC applies one set of rules to
everyone, which includes inmates and detainees. Thus, in nearly all respects, detainees and
inmates receive the same treatment at DDC. In response to queries from our group on whether it
is appropriate to always apply the same rules to inmates and detainees, Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c
answered that DDC treats all inmates with respect and provides an environment superior to most
facilities (he stated that DDC is a training center for other jails and receives delegations from
jails all over the U.S.) and that equal treatment is necessary to avoid creating tensions between
the detainees and the inmates.
C.

The Dorchester Detention Center’s Handbook

The Standards require that all detention facilities have a site-specific handbook for its
detainees to serve as an overview of and guide to the detention policies, rules and procedures in

2

effect at the facility. IGSAs, however, may adopt, adapt or establish alternatives to, the
procedures specified for SPCs/DCFs, provided they meet or exceed the objective represented by
each standard.2 All detainees are to receive a copy of the handbook upon admission to the
facility.3
Upon arrival by the Delegation, DDC staff provided us with a document entitled
“Dorchester Detention Center Inmate Informational Handbook, Revised October 17, 2003”
(“DDC Handbook”), and a Spanish version of the DDC Handbook, entitled “Centro De
Detencion Del Condado De Dorchester, Libreto Informativo para el Interno/Preso, Revisado: 4
de Marzo Del 2004.” Copies of the DDC Handbook in English and Spanish are attached hereto.
Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c stated that the DDC Handbook contained a single set of rules that
applied to both detainees and inmates. These rules addressed nearly all the issues covered by the
Standards and which we covered in our tour, including classification, visitation, library,
telephone, mail, recreation, educational programs, medical services, work program, religious
activities, grievance policy, etc. According to Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c , the DDC Handbook is provided
to all inmates upon intake. With the exception of two Jamaican detainees who stated that they
did not recall receiving the DDC Handbook,4 all of the detainees we interviewed stated that they
had received a copy upon intake.
Insofar as it provides an overview of the DDC’s rules and procedures applicable to all
housed at DDC, both inmates and detainees, the DDC Handbook is largely adequate. However,
in light of its dual purpose, the DDC Handbook omits much of the specific information that is
unique to detainees. The result, as further discussed herein, is that key information set forth in
the Standards is omitted from the DDC Handbook.
III.

OBSERVATION OF IMPLEMENTATION OF LEGAL ACCESS STANDARDS
A.

Visitation

The Standards require detention facilities to allow authorized persons to visit detainees.5
Written notice of visitation rules and hours shall be given to detainees and the public.6 Facilities
should also permit representatives of the news media and non-governmental organizations to
have access to non-confidential information about their operation, to tour facilities, and given
proper notice, and with permission, to interview detainees.7

2
3
4
5
6
7

Detention Operations Manual, (“DOM”) Detainee Services, Standard 6, Section I.
Id.
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interview with detainees
.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 17, Section I.
Id.
Id.

3

i.

Visitation by Attorneys

The Standards provide that detainees must be allowed to meet privately with their
current or prospective legal representatives and legal assistants and to meet with their consular
officials.8
The DDC Handbook states that inmates will be allowed private consultation with their
attorneys. Attorneys are allowed to visit seven days a week at the DDC, with visiting hours from
8:00 am to 9:00 pm. However, according to Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c , attorneys are discouraged from
visiting on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so as not to conflict with public visitation. If an
attorney’s visit conflicts with meal times, the detainee is required to consume his meal before the
visit while the attorney waits. There is no limit on the duration of attorney visitation, provided it
takes place within the established visiting hours.
Three identical private interview rooms are dedicated to legal visitation. Each room is
divided in half to prevent any physical contact. The visitor and detainee can view each other
through a window and converse via telephone. According to Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c the
conversations cannot be monitored. Individual sheets of paper can be slipped through a narrow
slit beneath the window. None of the detainees we interviewed stated that they had ever received
an attorney visit, other than visits by a pro bono attorney who several detainees identified by
name. This attorney apparently visits DDC frequently on behalf of Catholic Charities; Warden
(b)(6), (b)(7)c indicated during our visit that Catholic Charities visits the facility twice per week. The
DDC appears to meet this section of the Standards.
ii.

Visits by Family and Friends

The Standards specify a minimum time limit for visitors of 30 minutes under normal
conditions, and encourage more generous limits when possible, especially for family members
traveling significant distances to visit. Visits shall be permitted during set hours on weekends
and holidays. The Standards state that the OIC can decide whether to permit contact visits based
on the facility’s detainee population and its physical conditions.9
The DDC does not allow any contact visits on site, but the ICE representative said that
the ICE could take detainees requesting contact visits to facilities in Baltimore where such visits
can be accommodated. Neither the ICE representative nor Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c elaborated on
whether detainees knew how they could request such an accommodation, what criteria DDC
would use to consider such a request, or whether any detainee ever had made such a request. No
detainee mentioned having asked for a contact visit.
Visitation at the DDC takes place in a common visitation area where approximately
twelve visitors can simultaneously meet with individual detainees. Visitors and detainees are
separated by a glass partition. A series of stools across from each other allow the visitor and
detainee to face each other while conversing via telephone.

8
9

DOM, Detainee Services, Standard 16, Section III.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 1, III.A

4

Visitation rules are posted at the DDC’s entrance/waiting area and are described in the
DDC Handbook. Visits are allowed on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am to 11 am and from
1 pm to 3 pm. The visitation schedule avoids any conflict with detainee mealtimes. Each
detainee is allowed a maximum of two visitors for 15 minutes each per day. Visitors under 18,
who must be accompanied by an adult, are allowed to visit only on the first Saturday of each
month, and count as two visitors.
Visiting privileges may be revoked or suspended as a disciplinary measure. The DDC
Handbook includes a provision for special visits, which must be approved in advance by a DDC
official. Special visits are based on family emergencies or other special situations. The DDC
Handbook states that special visits are available only for detainees who have been incarcerated
for 90 days with no infractions. No detainee mentioned having requested a special visit.
Few of the detainees we spoke with had ever had visitors. Several of them stated that
their relatives lived in New York or Pennsylvania and it was too far for them to travel such a
distance for a mere 15-minute visit. During the tour, Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c stated that the 15-minute
maximum visiting time could be extended to one hour for visitors who traveled greater distances.
However, we spoke with several detainees who complained of not receiving visits from family
members who did not live nearby, and none of these detainees were aware that the Warden might
grant them more visitation time for such visits.10 The Warden subsequently told us that he did
not want to advertise this possibility, let alone call it a policy, lest detainees abuse it, or the
demands on his staff become untenable in an effort to accommodate resulting requests. As far as
we could tell, such a request for a longer visit has yet to be made by a detainee, apparently
because of a lack of knowledge of this possibility.
By limiting visits to just 15 minutes, the DDC appears to be in conflict with this section
of the Standards. The DDC’s reluctance to advise detainees that they might request longer
visitation times for visitors from afar may serve to further limit detainees’ ability to meet with
visitors.
B.

Telephone Access

The Standards require that detainees be provided reasonable and equitable access to
telephones.11 To ensure sufficient access, the facility shall provide at least one telephone for
every 25 detainees held.12 Telephone service can be limited to collect calls; however, the facility
must allow a detainee to make free calls to: (1) the local immigration court and Board of
Immigration Appeals; (2) federal and state courts where the detainee is or may become involved
in a legal proceeding; (3) consular officials; (4) legal service providers regarding retaining
counsel or consultation; (5) a government office to obtain documents relevant to his/her case;
and (6) in a personal or family emergency, or when the detainee can otherwise demonstrate a
compelling need (to be interpreted liberally).13 On-site liaison officers can provide these free
calls separately within the facility. A detainee should be granted access to these phones within
10
11
12
13

(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interviews with detainees
DOM Detention Standard 15, Section I.
DOM Detention Standard 15, Section III.C.
DOM Detention Standard 15, Section III.E.

5

24 hours of his/her request, and incidents of delay extending beyond eight waking hours must be
documented and reported to the ICE.14 The facility shall not monitor calls to attorneys on legal
matters, absent a court order.15 Other types of phone calls can be monitored, subject to notice
posted next to the phone and notice placed in the handbook.
The DDC has two public phones in each pod, creating a current ratio of approximately
one phone per twelve detainees, which is well within the ratio required in the Standards.
Detainees may use the phones between the hours of 7 am and 10 pm daily. Considering that the
phones were close to the television and sitting area for detainees, privacy may be compromised
on these phones. The phones use a collect call system provided by the local phone company.
According to the Warden, the price charged is the same as that charged at an ordinary pay phone
outside the facility and DDC receives no shared revenues from collect calls. The phones work
on a timer and automatically shut off after 20 minutes. Detainees are permitted to call again after
time runs out, provided no other detainees are waiting to use the phone. We understand the
detainees also can use calling cards to make calls from these phones. One of the detainees we
interviewed mentioned using calling cards for domestic calls;16 another detainee said he could
not use calling cards for overseas calls.17 None of the detainees complained about access to the
phone, but several complained that calls within the U.S. did not go through.18 The Warden said
that the phones do not permit three-way calling and that this is likely the source of the detainees’
difficulty in placing calls. He also suggested that the intended recipients for the detainees’
collect calls might sometimes not be accepting the calls. The Warden stated to us that phone calls
placed from these phones are not monitored or recorded, absent some compelling reason to do so
(e.g., threats against DDC Staff).
Consistent with the Standards, the ICE liaison office contained a telephone where
detainees can place free “direct calls” to courts, consulates, and immigration offices, meaning
that detainees need not call collect or use a calling card to make such a call. These phones could
also be used to call legal services to retain a lawyer; however, if the detainee could make the call
from a phone located in his or her pod, we understand that the detainee would need to make a
collect call to the attorney. It was not clear to us whether detainees could also use this free phone
for a personal or family emergency, or when the detainee can otherwise demonstrate a
compelling need, as required by the Standards. The ICE liaison officer dials the number the
detainee wishes to reach to prevent any unauthorized phone calls. It was also not clear to us
whether the detainees had complete privacy when using this free phone, or whether the ICE
liaison officer was present. Detainees obtain use of this phone by submitting a request to see the
ICE liaison officer. These requests are purportedly entertained the following day; thus, it
appears that permission to make certain free phone calls would be granted within 24 hours of a
detainee’s request, as required by the Standards. However, one detainee with whom we met
reported that he had made such a request the previous day, which had yet to be granted by the
time of our mid-afternoon interview.19
14
15
16
17
18
19

Id.
DOM Detention Standard 15, Section III.J.
Interview with detainee
Interview with detainee
(b)(6), (b)(7)b
Interview with detainee
Interview with detainee

6

The numerous detainee anecdotes about their inability to connect on calls placed on the
phones in the pods raise questions about whether the DDC satisfies this Standard. There is also a
question about whether use of the phone in the ICE liaison office meets the Standards.
C.

Legal Materials

The Standards provide that all facilities holding detainees must permit detainees to have
access to a law library, and provide legal materials, document copying privileges, and the
opportunity to prepare legal documents.20 The DDC has adopted its own policy governing
detainees’ access to legal materials, which in certain respects does not conform to the applicable
ICE detention standard.
i.

Library Conditions

The Standards provide that each facility shall provide a law library in a designated room
with sufficient space to facilitate detainees’ legal research and writing. The library shall contain
a sufficient number of tables and chairs in a well-lit room, reasonably isolated from noisy
areas.21
The DDC library is located in a reasonably large and well-lit multi-function room. In
addition to the tables for the computers and typewriters, the library contains 2 working tables and
one desk. One of the working tables was effectively fully occupied by numerous (numbering at
least in the dozens) mass-market paperback books. In addition, the library contains over 40
classroom-style chairs with attached desktops. The latter reflects the fact that the library room
also is used for numerous DDC programs, such as the GED classes.
ii.

Photocopies and Mail

The Standards provide that each facility shall ensure that detainees can obtain
photocopies of legal materials, when such copies are reasonable and necessary for legal
proceedings involving the detainee.22 In addition, each facility shall provide indigent detainees
with free envelopes and stamps for mail related to a legal matter, including correspondence to a
legal representative, potential representative, or any court.23
A detainee may request that copies be made and such copies are provided free of charge.
The DDC requires criminal inmates at the facility to pay for copies. No detainees stated that
they were charged for photocopies. However, one detainee that we interviewed indicated that he
had not received materials he requested to be copied.24 In addition, detainees may purchase
paper, writing implements, envelopes and stamps from the facility’s commissary. Warden
Williams indicated that materials could be provided free of charge to indigent detainees,
provided they were formally requested. The Warden said that such assistance to the indigent had
20
21
22
23
24

DOM Detainee Services, Standard 1, Section I.
DOM, Detainee Services, Standard 1, Section III.A.
DOM, Detainee Services, Standard 1, Section III.J.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 1, Section III.N.
Interview with detainee
(b)(6), (b)(7)c

7

rarely, if ever, been necessary because the detainees at DDC generally have sufficient funds to
purchase the materials.
The Standards require that detainees be allowed to send and receive correspondence in a
timely manner, subject to limitations for safety, security, and orderly operation of the facility.25
General correspondence shall normally be opened and inspected for contraband in the presence
of the detainee, but may be opened and even read outside the presence of the detainee if justified
due to security concerns.26 Special correspondence – which includes all written communication
to or from attorneys, legal representatives, judges, courts, government officials, and the news
media – is treated differently.27 Incoming special correspondence can be inspected for
contraband only in the presence of the detainee, but it can never be read or copied. 28 Outgoing
special correspondence cannot be opened, inspected, or read.29
The Warden expressly indicated that DDC staff never opens attorney correspondence
prior to its being routed to the detainee recipient, provided the correspondence clearly indicates
that it is an attorney-client communication. The DDC Handbook states that detainees will be
required to open such correspondence in the presence of a DDC officer, who will verify that it
does not contain contraband.30 At least two detainees with whom we met reported that they had
received mail. One detainee reported that he had received personal correspondence, which had
been opened prior to his receipt.31 Another detainee reported that letters were his primary means
of corresponding with his attorney.32 A third detainee reported that he has sent letters on a
number of occasions but, as of our interview, had yet to receive any response.33
One detainee mentioned that he had not received a message a relative had left him
through a phone call to the DDC’s office to notify him of a family emergency.34 The detainee
said he had only learned of the emergency later when calling his relative on his own accord. It is
not clear to us whether the DDC had any procedures for relaying incoming phone messages to
detainees.
Overall, based on our discussions with the Warden, DDC staff, and detainees, it appears
as though the DDC’s practices substantially meet the Standards’ correspondence provisions,
subject to the issue of whether some mail may, without justification, be opened before it reaches
the detainee.

25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34

DOM Detainee Services, Standard 4, Section I.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 4, Sections III.B. & E.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 4, Sections III.B., E., & F.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 4, Sections III.B. & E.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 4, Sections III.B. & F.
DDC Handbook at p. 11.
Interview with detainee
Interview with detainee
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interview with detainee
Interview with detainee

8

iii.

Computer Access, Equipment, and Library Holdings

The Standards require that the library provide an adequate number of typewriters and/or
computers, writing implements, paper, and office supplies to enable detainees to prepare
documents for legal proceedings.35 The Standards also require all law libraries to contain the
materials listed in Attachment A of the Access to Legal Materials chapter of the Detention
Operations Manual.36 These materials must be updated regularly and information must be added
on significant regulatory and statutory changes regarding detention and deportation of aliens in a
timely manner. In addition, the Standards require that the facility post a list of holdings in the
law library and designate an employee with responsibility for updating materials, inspecting
them weekly, and maintaining them in good working order.37
The law library at the DDC has two typewriters and four computers. Detainees are
permitted to use at least one of the computers to access certain Lexis databases on CD-ROM.
DDC does not provide detainees with printed instructions on how to use the equipment or
software; similarly, no one in our delegation recalled seeing any instructional material posted in
the library explaining how to use the library’s resources. The Warden said the librarian provides
assistance with the software, but one detainee complained that law librarians were not available
when needed.38 The computers have no Internet capability, and no printers were visible. A
detainee may request that the DDC staff obtain a copy of any legal material that he locates on the
computer, although it is unclear exactly how this process works.
The vast majority of the books in the library were for leisure reading. The library also
had a rolling bookcase with three shelves on each side. The Warden indicated that this rolling
bookcase was the inmates’ law library; it consisted of a variety of state and Federal criminal law
and procedure books, though several years old. This inmates’ law library contained bound
volumes of immigration decisions through 1998.
The library also ha
d room located at the far back wall with a window affording
viewing inside. Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c indicated this room contained the ICE law library books as
well as a variety of other materials used by the facility (e.g., GED books). The delegation was
unable to verify whether the ICE books were inside this room. ICE and DDC staff stated that the
DDC meets its library requirement for immigration materials through providing a Lexis database
on CD-ROM. We noticed a Lexis CD still in its protective sleeve located on one of the
computer stations. Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c indicated that the CD had just arrived in the mail. As the
CD was unopened and the computers were not hooked up, we were unable to ascertain what
materials were on this CD and whether the materials were consistent with the requirements in the
Standards. One detainee complained the Lexis software was outdated. 39

35
36
37
38
39

DOM Detainee Services, Standard 1, Section III.B.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 1, Section III.C.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 1, Section III.D.
Interview with detainee
.
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interview with detainee
.

9

There is a question over whether the DDC meets this section of the Standards. Detainees
voiced various complaints about difficulties in using the library, and it is unclear whether they
are able to get access to and use up-to-date legal materials.
iv.

Access to the Library

The Standards require that the facility devise a flexible schedule to permit all detainees,
regardless of housing or classification, to use the law library on a regular basis for a minimum of
five hours per week. These five hours should not cause a detainee to miss a meal, recreation
time, or any other planned activity.40
The DDC permits detainees to sign up in advance in order to participate in the law library
session, which is held only on Wednesdays for one hour, rather than five hours, as required by
the Standards. Only a limited number of detainees at a time are permitted to attend the law
library session, though it was unclear specifically what that number is. For that reason, some
detainees appear to be unable to access the law library at regular times, and perhaps not at all
during a given week. One detainee said that he “sometimes” has been unable to access the law
library during the scheduled time.41 A detainee working in the laundry room said she was unable
to use the law library in her time at DDC because she works during the time access to the library
is available to detainees. Another detainee reported that he has had “no problem” accessing the
library.42 Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c indicated that the DDC has conducted special law library sessions to
accommodate detainees that, due to the library’s capacity constraints, could not participate in the
regularly scheduled session, though no detainee mentioned this practice and the DDC appears to
have no articulated policy on such make-up sessions.
Based on the limited time available each week for detainees to use the law library, it
appears that the DDC has not fully implemented this section of the Standards.
The multi-purpose room that serves as the law library also functions as the library with
recreational reading materials. Access to the room for this purpose is on Tuesdays only, for 15
minutes at a time, which allows detainees to drop off and pick up reading materials. No inmate
suggested he was able to use this recreational library time for legal research.
v.

Notaries, Certified Mail, and Miscellaneous Needs Associated with
Legal Matters

The Standards require that the facility provide assistance to any unrepresented detainee
who requests a notary public, certified mail, or other such services to pursue a legal matter if the
detainee is unable to meet the need through family members or community organizations.43
(b)(6)
Warden
indicated that detainees must fill out a request form for any special
requests, and that such requests would be accommodated to the extent they were necessary and

40
41
42
43

DOM Detainee Services, Standard 1, Section III.G.
Interview with detainee
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interview with detainee
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 1, Section III.P.

10

could be accommodated. None of the detainees we interviewed indicated any inability to pursue
legal matters that required the above services. However, nearly all of the detainees generally
complained that the ICE was not very helpful in keeping the detainees apprised of the status of
their deportations.
D.

Group Rights Presentations

The Standards provide that facilities “shall permit authorized persons to make
presentations to groups of detainees for the purpose of informing them of U.S. immigration law
and procedures consistent with the security and orderly operation of each facility.”44
Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c said that he did not allow groups to make presentations to detainees,
because this would disrupt operations of the facility and also amount to solicitation of business
by these groups. He added, however, that he had not received any requests for such group
presentations. In addition, he noted that a Catholic Charities representative visited the facility
once or twice per week and usually offered to assist anyone who did not already have legal
representation.
According to the ICE detention supervisor, detainees are required to watch a video
presentation before being transported to this facility and by those means are educated about their
rights. She added that anyone wishing to give a group presentation would have to ask the ICE
representative for the region.
The DDC’s policy of not allowing group presentations is inconsistent with this portion of
the Standards
IV.

OTHER GENERAL OBSERVATIONS UNRELATED TO THE LEGAL ACCESS
STANDARDS
A.

Recreation

The Standards require that “all facilities shall provide INS detainees with access to
recreational programs and activities, under conditions of security and supervision that protect
their safety and welfare.”45 Every effort is to be made to provide outdoor recreation facilities,
but lacking such, the recreation room should be large, with exercise equipment and having access
to sunlight.46 If the facility offers outdoor recreation, the Standards require that each detainee
have access for at least one hour daily, at a reasonable time of day, five days a week, weather
permitting.47
The DDC’s recreation areas available to detainees consist of three areas: one indoor
dayroom per pod; one gymnasium; and one outdoor recreation area. The latter two are available

44
45
46
47

DOM, Detainee Services, Standard 9, Section I.
DOM, Detainee Services, Standard 13, Section I.
DOM, Detainee Services, Standard 13, Section III.A.1.
DOM, Detainee Services, Standard 13, Section III.B

11

to detainees for only two hours per week, an hour on Mondays and another hour on Fridays.
This schedule avoids a conflict with personal visitation times.
i.

Indoor Recreation

Detainees are allowed to engage in most indoor sedentary recreational activities, such as
playing board games or watching television, throughout their waking hours in the day room of
their housing unit. In addition, they may read in their cells or engage in light physical activities,
such as jogging in place, doing push-ups and sit-ups and the like, throughout the waking day.
When the weather is not conducive to outdoor recreation time (discussed below), the two
hours of the non-pod recreation will take place in an indoor gymnasium. The gymnasium is
equipped for half-court basketball games. In addition, DDC staff indicated that detainees have
access to rubber horseshoe equipment, but none was apparent in the gymnasium. For security
reasons, the DDC has no weights or other physical recreation equipment for detainees’ use.
Attorney visitation time, and possibly library time, can conflict with the gymnasium
portion of detainees’ indoor recreation time. We were told that, given a choice, detainees
typically opt to schedule other events so as to avoid a conflict. In addition, Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c
stated that detainees preferring not to miss their physical recreation time customarily make
attorney visitors wait until after the conclusion of recreation time. In other words, detainees can
be put in a position where they must choose between physical recreation and other activities to
which they are entitled. However, it does not appear as though this possibility has presented
detainees any practical problems thus far given the dearth of attorney visitors to the DDC
detainees. As the detainees with whom we met received so few visitors, we were unable to
confirm the Warden’s statements regarding how detainees are able to work around the potential
conflict between recreation and legal visitation.
ii.

Outdoor Recreation

Weather permitting, detainees are allowed one hour of outdoor recreation twice per week.
The outdoor recreation area is an asphalt basketball court secured by a high (approximately 1520 feet) chain link and razor wire fence. An equipment locker in each area contains basketballs
and rubber horseshoe equipment.48 Outdoor recreation is usually held early in the morning, as
Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c stated to us that Maryland prison requirements do not permit outdoor
recreation when the temperature exceeds 85 degrees F. During the winter, detainees are denied
any outdoor recreation for long periods.49 The limited time for outside recreation was, without
exception, cited as inadequate and a source of frustration by all the detainees in our interviews.
When the delegation met with the Warden after touring the facility, the delegation asked Warden
(b)(6), (b)(7)c why detainees were only given two opportunities a week for outdoor recreation. He
responded that security and logistics make it difficult to afford additional outdoor recreation
time. ICE Supervisor (b)(6), (b)(7)c also stated that the opportunity given detainees to play cards and
other games in the common areas of the pods constituted recreation time.
48

The fact that the rubber horseshoe equipment was located in the outdoor recreation area we visited might
explain why no such equipment was visible in the gymnasium.
49
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interview with detainee
.

12

As further discussed in Section C below, detainees receiving pain medication are denied
recreation time. Therefore, some detainees said they chose not to receive any pain medication in
order to maintain their access to recreation. One detainee receiving ibuprofen for back pain
ultimately refused further attention from the doctor in order to be able to go outside during
recreation.50
In view of the outdoor recreational facilities the DDC has available, the limited outdoor
recreation time given to detainees at the DDC does not meet the requirements set forth in the
Standards of one hour per day, five days a week. In addition, it does not seem justified to deny
detainees the opportunity to spend time outside during recreation time simply because they may
be taking medications.
iii.

Recreation for Detainees in Segregation

DDC policy appears to take the position that recreation (in particular, physical recreation
either outdoors or in the gymnasium) is a privilege. As such, detainees domiciled in locations
other than the detainee pods (e.g., special management units, the DDC medical wing, etc.) forego
recreation.
B.

Educational Opportunities

The Standards do not explicitly address educational opportunities for detainees. The
DDC Handbook states that “inmates” are “eligible to enroll in the education and/or substance
abuse programs, except those who are a security risk to the facility.”51
The classes and programs offered at the facility include GED classes, and substance
abuse counseling. However, the detainees are not allowed to participate in GED and other
classes. One detainee showed us a form by which he had requested to participate in GED
classes. A hand-written note on the form by a DDC official indicated that the detainee’s request
was rejected because “of [his] status as an INS detainee” i.e., a detainee rather than an inmate.52
ICE Supervisor Goodson subsequently told us these requests likely were rejected because either
the detainees already had high school degrees, and therefore were not in need of a GED, or
because non-citizens, which includes by definition all detainees, might not be eligible for the
benefits of a state-funded GED program.
C.

Access to Medical Care

The Standards provide that “[a]ll detainees shall have access to medical services that
promote detainee health and general well-being.53 In addition, the Standards provide that “[e]ach
facility will have regularly scheduled times, known as sick call, when medical personnel will be

50
51
52
53

Interview with detainee
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
DDC Handbook at p. 8.
Interview with detainee
DOM Health Services, Standard 2, Section I.

13

available to see detainees who have requested medical services.”54 With respect to emergency
care, the Standards state that in situations in which a detention officer is uncertain of whether a
detainee requires emergency medical care, the officer should immediately contact a health care
provider or an on-duty supervisor.55
The Standards require adequate access to appropriate medical treatment for detainees and
apply the medical care standard to IGSA facilities, such as DDC.56 The Standards expect every
participating facility to provide initial medical screenings to detainees followed by a full physical
exam within fourteen days, primary and emergency medical care, specialized health care, and
nearby hospitalization if necessary.57 TB screening is expected for every incoming detainee as
part of the initial medical exam, and suicide prevention, mental health services, and
detoxification procedures should be available as needed.58 The Standards call for facilities with
50 to 200 detainees (such as the DDC) to provide sick call at least three times a week. 59
The medical facilities at DDC are new, clean, and apparently well equipped. DDC
recently added a significant new medical wing -- eight new individual cells – primarily to serve
male inmates and detainees, but also available as a backup to the separate women’s medical
facilities. Detoxification facilities are available for incoming inmates or detainees under the
influence of a substance. The new facility also addresses suicide prevention, with measures in
place such as observation areas and special sheetless mattresses with built in pillows. Though
the new medical wing is able to handle substantial medical issues in-house, a hospital is located
just two miles away and, according to Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c , can provide emergency medical care
when necessary.
All detainees who arrive at DDC undergo an initial medical screening, which includes a
TB test with appropriate isolation rooms for those suspected of positive results. HIV testing is
performed at intake only upon request. Detainees receive complete medical exams within 14
days of arrival.
Detainees complain primarily about two issues regarding medical care at DDC; the
difficulty detainees face when wanting to see a doctor and the consequences a medical request
may have on their two non-pod hours of recreation time per week.
Though the Standards require sick call three times a week, the DDC conducts routine sick
call twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays. As a general matter, if a detainee suffers from a
non-emergency ailment (e.g., a headache) on a day when the doctor is unavailable, then the
detainee must wait until Tuesday or Friday when the doctor returns, though the Warden indicated
on our tour that the medical wing is staffed by a medic at all times. Furthermore, according to
the DDC Handbook, when an inmate submits a sick call request form, the inmate may incur a $2

54
55
56
57
58
59

DOM Health Services, Standard 2, Section III.F
DOM Health Services, Standard 2, Section III. H.
DOM Health Services, Standard 2, Sections I and II.
Id. at Section III-A.
Id. at Section III-D.
Id.

14

charge to his or her account.60 No special provisions regarding detainees indicate a different
policy for that population, though the DDC reserves the right to waive the $2 fee. Inmates must
submit a request form to see a doctor prior to gaining access, and often completing a request does
not result in a doctor visit. One detainee complained of filling out doctor requests without ever
receiving access to the doctor, though he did receive pain medication from a nurse.61 Another
detainee, who injured himself during recreation and required stitches, reported that he did not
receive any pain medication despite sending multiple requests.62 One nurse reportedly denied
another detainee’s request to see a doctor regarding a rash on his arm but relented when the rash
had spread considerably.63
If a detainee receives prescribed medication for pain from the doctor, the detainee will be
denied the opportunity to participate in either indoor or outdoor physical recreation activities
while taking the medication. Rather than allowing the detainee to go outdoors or to the
gymnasium with orders to not engage in any physical activity, Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c keeps the
detainee in the pod, stating that in his opinion, the detainee would be tempted to engage in
physical activities and thereby exacerbate any injuries. Non-prescription pain relief medication,
such as Tylenol and Advil, is available at the commissary according to the DDC Handbook64, but
none of the detainees mentioned this as an option for relief of pain. Any item from the
commissary must be purchased through the detainee’s account, so detainees without any funds
may be unable to access over-the-counter pain relief medication.
Finally, although the Standards require that detainees shall not be compelled to undergo
undesired medical treatment, Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c stated he could demand treatment for a detainee
without any sort of waiver.
Overall, the DDC appears to have quality health care facilities, and may meet this section
of the Standards, although some detainees complained of inadequate access to doctors.
D.

Religious Issues

The Standards require that detainees of different beliefs be provided reasonable and
equitable opportunities to participate in the practices of their respective faiths. These
opportunities shall exist for all equally, regardless of the number of practitioners of a given
religion, regardless whether the religion could be characterized as “mainstream,” “Western” or
“Eastern,” or anything else.65 Opportunities will be constrained only by concerns about safety,
security, the orderly operation of the facility or the extraordinary costs associated with a specific
practice.66 The OIC may limit participation in a particular religious activity or practice to the
members of that particular group.67 All facilities shall designate space for religious activities and
60

DOM Handbook at p. 9. Exceptions to this fee include follow-up directed by medical staff, physical
examinations and medical emergencies as determined by medical staff.
61
Interview with detainee
62
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interview with detainee
63
Interview with detainee
64
DDC Handbook at p.10.
65
DOM Detention Standard 14, Section I.
66
Id.
67
DOM Detention Standard 14, Section III.B

15

have resources available for community groups that provide religious services at the facility not
provided by a Chaplain.68 Detainees will have the opportunity to engage in-group religious
activities, consistent with the safe, secure and orderly operation of the facility. Policies shall be
in place to facilitate the observance of important “holy days.”69 Detainees’ religious dietary
requirements shall also be accommodated, within reason.70
DDC does not have a Chaplain. Each Sunday, DDC offers separate non-denominational
church services for male and female inmates officiated by local husband and wife pastors,
respectively. These services are held in the indoor gym area, as the DDC does not have special
facilities used solely for religious purposes. DDC also provides self-directed Islamic studies
each Friday; the Warden made a point of emphasizing that these “Islamic studies” sessions are
not organized religious services. Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c said detainees are not permitted to engage in
group-prayer while in the pod, on grounds that this would result in them imposing their religious
beliefs on other detainees (Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c stated this restriction, which he said applied to all
religions, was the result of court decisions). Consistent with the Warden’s statement, two
Muslim detainees we spoke with said that a group of Muslims had been prevented from praying
together in the pod.71 The explanation given by one of them, however, was that they had been
told such overt prayer sessions would attract negative attention from other detainees.72 Rather,
detainees are permitted individually to pray each day in their cells with the cell door ajar. This
practice may conflict with the Standards’ requirement that detainees have the opportunity to
engage in-group religious activities, consistent with the safe, secure and orderly operation of the
facility.73
Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c stated to the delegation that DDC observes Ramadan and provides
special diets for Muslim detainees. Diets are also adjusted upon request during Lent for
Christian detainees. Several detainees we interviewed stated that the only observation of
Ramadan is that detainees receive meal trays at the usual time of day and simply allow the food
to sit until sundown, at which time they eat it all at once.74 According to the DDC Handbook,
detainees are allowed to possess a woven, handmade religious symbol and string necklace,
affixed together as one unit.75 The string can be no larger than 1/8 inch in diameter and must be
loose fitting, and the symbol must be no bigger than 2 x 2 x ¼ inches.
Several Muslim detainees complained of the lack of Islamic leadership available for
services and the suitability of the Koran in the library.76 In the post-tour meeting, when asked
about the possibility of bringing a Muslim imam to DDC for weekly services, the Warden replied
that he would accommodate such a volunteer if one were interested in performing that service for
detainees.

68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76

DOM Detention Standard 14, Section III.E.
DOM Detention Standard 14, Section III.H.
DOM Detention Standard 14, Section III.I.
Interviews with detainees
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interview with detainee
.
DOM Detention Standard 14, Section III. H.
Interviews with detainees
DDC Handbook at p. 10.
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interviews with detainees

16

It is unclear whether logistical, security, legal or other reasons are the grounds for barring
the Muslim detainees from less restricted practice of their religion. The DDC is allowed to
gauge religious activity in light of the needs of safe, secure and orderly operation of the facility.
The inadequate opportunity given to Muslims to practice their religion raises questions about
whether the DDC meets this section of the Standards.
E.

Detainee Classification

The Standards allow IGSA facilities to continue using systems established locally, if the
classification criteria are objective and all procedures meet ICE requirements under the
Standards.77 Detainees are to be classified upon arrival, using data provided by ICE. Upon
classification, detainees should receive uniforms based on their classification level, Dark Blue
being the lowest threat (Level 1), Bright Orange being the intermediate threat (Level 2) and Dark
Red being the highest threat (Level 3).78 Level 1 detainees are not to be housed with Level 3
detainees, but can be kept with Level 2 detainees; however, under no circumstances may a Level
2 detainee with a history of assaultive or combative behavior be placed in a Level 1 housing
unit.79 Classification levels can be changed due to incidents while in custody or because of
specific facts that surface after the detainee’s processing.80
DDC Staff performs in-take processing and creates a file for each detainee with any prior
criminal history (if known). This in-take processing is done within 72 hours of arrival, excluding
holidays and weekends. The detainee files have a green cover so they can be distinguished from
the local inmates’ files. DDC Staff indicated to us that ICE did not always provide information
regarding prior criminal history, if any, of detainees at the time of processing. We viewed three
detainee files requested at random by the Warden and noted that two out of the three files
contained information on criminal history. Several of the detainees we interviewed also
professed that they did not have any criminal records and were only being detained for violation
of immigration laws.
DDC segregates all the male detainees from the regular inmates. Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c noted
that he sometimes makes an exception to this rule in rare circumstances where the detainee
encounters difficulty getting along with other detainees and the DDC Staff believes the detainee
is better off with the regular inmates. The Warden informed us that, at the time of our visit, one
male detainee was housed with DDC inmates, that this intermixing was done only with the
detainee’s consent, and that he still wore a blue uniform indicating his detainee status.81 This
separation of detainees also occurs in the maximum-security area, as that area contains individual
cells and contains no common area where detainees could intermix with inmates. As discussed
below, female inmates and detainees are housed together.
According to DDC Staff and ICE officials, only Level 1 and 2 detainees are sent to DDC.
If a detainee were to act in such manner as to result in a Level 3 classification, such a detainee
77
78
79
80
81

DOM Detention Standard 3, Section I.
DOM Detention Standard 3, Section III.A.
DOM Detention Standard 3, Section III.F.
DOM Detention Standard 3, Section III.G.
Interview with detainee (b)(6), (b)(7)c

17

would be transferred out of the DDC. All the detainees were wearing dark blue uniforms, with
the regular inmates wearing orange uniforms. Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c explained that this permits the
Staff to easily distinguish detainees from the regular inmates. However, this classification system
is not consistent with the Standards, as DDC does not use visual cues to distinguish Level 1 from
Level 2 detainees. In addition, this mixing of detainees could result in a Level 2 detainee with a
history of assaultive or combative behavior being placed in a housing unit populated primarily by
Level 1 detainees, which would constitute a further deviation from the Standards. With one
previously mentioned exception, none of the detainees we interviewed mentioned having
problems with the other detainees. The DDC Handbook contains a cursory description of the
classification system (e.g., it does not discuss different levels or treatment of detainees vs.
regular inmates) and also includes a description of the classification review process, including
the process for appeal. 82
F.

Accommodations

Two of the DDC accommodation areas house male criminal inmates while the remaining
two areas are dedicated to male detainees. Female detainees are kept in a different part of DDC
in a smaller pod and, because of their small population, are co-mingled with the criminal female
inmates. The pods have a common area (i.e., dayroom) with one television, two telephones, and
an area with tables and attached stools where detainees can play games. Each cell sleeps two
detainees and contains a toilet and a sink. The detainees can be out in the common areas
between 6 am and 11 pm. Showers can be used between 6:30 am and 10 pm. The Delegation
did not tour the interior of any pods. It was apparent that little outside light penetrates the pods,
as exterior windows are small. There is no air conditioning in the pods, although the DDC office
areas are air-conditioned. Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c indicated that air conditioning is installed only
where computers are located. Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c said that large fans are used for air circulation
when necessitated by high temperatures. Inmates complained that the northeast pods received no
natural light during periods of the winter because blankets covered the exterior windows of the
facility.83 Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c explained that the cold air seeping through the windows necessitated
this measure.
G.

Personal Item Retention

The Standards require that all facilities provide for the control and safeguarding of
detainees’ personal property.84 The Standards require detention facilities, including IGSA
facilities, to properly control and safeguard detainees’ property during their detention.85
The DDC Handbook addresses the facility’s personal item retention policy, but our
delegation found the language unclear and is concerned that detainees may also find the language
confusing. We understand that upon intake of detainees, the DDC takes possession of detainee
property and either stores it or sends it to the detainee’s “home” if it exceeds $50 in value.86
82
83
84
85
86

DDC Handbook at p. 3.
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interview with detainee
DOM, Detainee Services, Standard 7, Section I.
DOM, Detainee Services, Standard 8, Section I.
DDC Handbook at p. 1.

18

Detainees are allowed to keep in their possession only corrective eyewear, hearing aids, false
teeth, wedding bands without stones, and personal legal materials. The DDC stores items
considered “contraband” as defined in the DDC Handbook and one change of clothes at the
facility and sends to a family member or friend any other material in the detainee’s possession
within 30 days of arrival. It is unclear where materials are sent if no relative or friend is
available to receive the property.
Detainees are allowed to keep very limited items in their possession. One detainee, who
stated that the version of the Koran from the library was inadequate, complained of denied access
to his Koran, which he claimed was paperback and smaller than the one available through the
jail.87 The Warden later suggested his request had been denied because the Koran was a
hardcover, which is not allowed. The DDC staff said that requests for legal materials the
detainee placed in storage would be accommodated, provided the volume of materials requested
was reasonable, although it is not clear whether detainees may have access to other property held
in storage.
Overall, the DDC appears to meet this section of the Standards.
H.

Dietary Requirements

The Standards require that detainees be provided with nutritious, attractively presented,
and sanitarily prepared meals.88 Furthermore, as a reflection of the multiple cultural and
religious issues involved, the Standards require all facilities to provide detainees requesting a
religious diet a reasonable and equitable opportunity to observe their religious dietary practice
within reasonable limits.89 The Standards call for nutritious meals prepared in a sanitary manner,
with appropriate accommodations for medical or religious needs. 90
DDC maintains a policy akin to the guidelines outlined in the Standards. Warden
emphasized the quality of the facility’s meal service and the fact that inmates receive
three hot meals a day for a total of 3000 daily calories. Food is prepared in the facility’s kitchen
by certified food service staff under contract to the DDC, as well as by inmates participating in
the work program. Detainees are not allowed to work in the kitchen, as they are not permitted to
participate in this type of voluntary work program (discussed below). Meals are adjusted
according to dietary needs for medical reasons or strict vegetarian purposes. Snacks are
available for purchase in the commissary.
(b)(6), (b)(7)c

I.

Detainee Work Program

The Standards state that all facilities should provide detainees that are physically and
mentally able the opportunity to work and earn money and be allowed to participate in any
voluntary work program.91
87
88
89
90
91

Interview with detainee (b)(6), (b)(7)c
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 7, Section I.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 7, Section III.E.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 7.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 18, Section III.A.

19

The DDC does maintain a voluntary work program. Under this program, the
compensation is two dollars per day. While the program is clearly open to inmates, DDC
officials exhibited inconsistency between policy and practice regarding whether the work
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
program is open to detainees. Both
and Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c agreed that the ICE
itself does not permit detainees to work in certain areas such as the kitchen. However, Warden
(b)(6), (b)(7)c initially stated that, in his understanding, the ICE does not allow detainees to work for
pay at all. Nonetheless, Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c has made exceptions to what he understood was ICE
policy by permitting certain detainees who he believes are indigent and truly in need of money to
work. During our tour, the delegation met a female detainee working in the laundry area. This
female detainee reported that she had not used the law library in her time at DDC because she
works during the time access to the library is available to detainees.
The ICE representative was quick to correct the Warden’s misunderstanding, stating that
all detainees are eligible for the voluntary work program jobs and, as an example, explained that
male detainees are allowed to perform the hallway and dayroom detail, i.e. janitorial work.
Furthermore, several members of our delegation observed that posted lists of DDC residents who
had been cleared for jobs within the facility included the names of four detainees. Nevertheless,
during the interviews several detainees said that they are not allowed to participate in the
voluntary work program due to their status as detainees.92 It appears that there are not enough
jobs to accommodate everyone who might have requested one, which might have contributed to
the evident confusion on the topic. However, there appears to be a miscommunication or a lack
of communication between the Warden and ICE concerning the overall eligibility of detainees
for the voluntary work program.
J.

Detainee Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures

The Standards require that every facility develop and implement standard procedures for
handling detainee grievances and encourage the facility to informally resolve differences before
resorting to a more formal grievance process.93 The Standards also require that the facility must
establish a reasonable time limit for: (1) processing, investigating, and responding to grievances;
(2) convening a grievance committee to review formal complaints; and (3) providing written
responses to detainees who filed formal grievances, including the basis for the decision.94 IGSA
facilities must allow any detainee dissatisfied with the facility’s response to his/her grievance to
communicate directly with ICE.95
i.

Detainee Grievance Procedures

DDC’s grievance system provides for an informal process. Detainees can request an
inmate request slip wherein they can write down their complaint and submit it through the COs;
oral requests are not accepted. Although not completely clear, it appeared that this same inmate
request slip would be used for any detainee request and was not limited to grievances.
92
93
94
95

(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interviews with detainees
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 8, Section I.
Id.
DOM Detainee Services, Standard 8, Section III.C.

20

.

According to one detainee we interviewed, the correctional officers routinely ask the detainees if
they have any complaints, and if so, give them an inmate request slip.96 The grievance would be
addressed by one of the supervisory staff. It was not clear to us whether an informal grievance
would be addressed within five days, as required by the Standards.
If a detainee is dissatisfied with the result obtained via the inmate request slip, a
grievance complaint form, known as Form No. 602, can be obtained and the details of the
grievance/complaint and all attempts to remedy it can be filled in. This form is submitted directly
to the Warden for investigation. As with the informal review process, the DDC Handbook does
not address, nor did the Warden specify, how quickly a decision would be made in response to
such a request, i.e., within five days as required by the Standards. Warden Williams stated that
he keeps the original copies of all grievance complaints in his office. DDC officials stated that a
Detainee Grievance Log exists, although it was not clear to us whether this Grievance Log
included only detainee’s complaints or also included the complaints by DDC inmates. There did
not seem to be any Detainee Grievance Committee process in place as required by the Standards;
rather, grievances would be moved up the chain of command.
As we did not interview any non-English speaking detainees, we cannot state whether
assistance would or would not be provided in filling out the inmate request slip or Form No. 602.
However, Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c indicated to us in our initial meeting that someone assists detainees
who cannot speak English (it was unclear to us whether this assistance is provided by another
detainee or by DDC Staff). None of the detainees we met with has ever filed a grievance. We
were also unable to ascertain whether an emergency grievance procedure exists. The DDC
Handbook contained a description of the formal and informal grievance complaint process, but
did not make any mention of the procedures for contacting the ICE to appeal the decision of the
DDC Warden. The DDC Handbook also did not include any information on the opportunity to
file a complaint about officer misconduct directly with the Justice Department as required by the
Standards.97
ii.

Discipline Procedures

The Standards provide that each facility have a detainee disciplinary system with
progressive levels of reviews, appeals, procedures, and documentation procedures.98
Furthermore, such discipline may not be retaliatory in nature99 and several sanctions are
banned.100
The DDC Handbook outlines a list of prohibited acts as well as a list of sanctions that
may be applied for violation of these rules. None of these sanctions are banned by the Standards.
Male inmates are placed in maximum-security pending a reclassification hearing, while women
are placed into the female processing area during the same period. All of these areas house the
detainees in individual cells and therefore do not violate detainee segregation standards.
96
97
98
99
100

(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interview with detainee
DOM Detention Standard 8, Section III.G.
DOM Security and Control, Standard 3, Section III.A.1.
DOM Security and Control, Standard 3, Section III.A.2.
DOM Security and Control, Standard 3, Section III.A.3.

21

For purposes of discipline and rules, Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c
sed to us that he does not
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
differentiate between criminal inmates and detainees.
of the ICE explained to us
that none of detainees have a maximum-security classification and anyone incurring such a
classification while at DDC would be removed from the facility. However, Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c
added that he preferred to handle such problems “in house” and rarely sent a detainee away to
another facility.
According to the DDC Handbook, every inmate is entitled to a hearing for each alleged
infraction.101 The inmate is served a copy of the infraction within 48 hours of the offense or
within 48 hours of the inmate returning to the custody of DDC. A disciplinary hearing is held
within 96 hours of a detainee being served with a copy of the infraction. There can be no hearing
within the first 24 hours unless the inmate waives this right. The inmate has a right to
representation and witnesses at the hearing. An inmate found guilty might appeal the hearing
within 5 working days, via an Inmate Request Slip, to the Chief of Security.
No detainee expressed complaints about the disciplinary hearing process during our
interviews. At least two of the detainees interviewed had faced such proceedings and appeared
to believe that they had been treated fairly.102 Both detainees were male and were placed in
segregation for their roles in separate fights. One was allowed to return to the detainee pod
afterwards while the other (an American-raised Trinidadian with a criminal record) was placed
into a pod with local inmates for his personal protection, a decision he requested and agreed with
despite his status as a detainee; however, he also stated that because he was housed in the nondetainee pod, he had been overlooked by an ICE official on a recent visit.103 One detainee from
Russia said that he had never had any problems personally but felt that guards unfairly singled
out Hispanic detainees.104 However, neither of the Hispanic detainees interviewed by our
delegation made such an allegation.105
iii.

Use of Force

The Standards provide a number of guidelines concerning the use of physical force. 106 In
general the use of force is only authorized when all other reasonable efforts have failed 107 or
when a detainee is acting violently or appears to be on the verge of acting violently. 108
Members of our delegation asked Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c what he does when a detainee gets
out of line or poses a threat and he responded: “We handle it.” Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c later clarified
these comments during the tour by referencing the comment to special protective gear used by
the officers in an emergency, though the protective gear had never been used before. The
Warden stated that his officers are required to practice confrontation avoidance.

101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108

DDC Handbook at p. 7.
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interviews with detaine
Interview with detainee
(b)(6), (b)(7)c
Interview with detainee
(b)(6), (b)(7)d
Interviews with detaine
DOM Security and Control, Standard 15, Section III.
DOM Security and Control, Standard 15, Section I.
DOM Security and Control, Standard 15, Section III.A.

22

Furthermore, Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c said that the DDC officers were well trained in the use of
force. Several different officers were asked about their preparation for use of force and all
responded uniformly that they were well versed in the proper techniques. Under Maryland state
law, DDC officers are trained in the use of force as part of their initial training and the officers
annually undergo hours of in-house training. Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c seems to rigorously enforce this
policy.
The DDC maintains a “CERT” unit to respond to emergency situations. This team
consists of eight officers who drill weekly and appear to be well equipped. Overall, the DDC
policies do not seem to differ substantially from the Standards.
DDC does not use soft restraints, however it appears that it uses handcuffs. DDC uses
two devices, not listed as permissible, known as a restraint chair and a restraint bed. The Warden
explained that both devices are used sparingly, only in extreme cases, and always with medical
supervision.
The closest items resembling four point restraints were the aforementioned restraint chair
and bed. DDC follows a strict protocol for the use of these devices that is only slightly different
from the Standards. None of the detainees we interviewed had complaints about the use of force.
While several had experienced the use of physical force, none reported it as excessive even when
specifically asked.109 The majority of the detainees questioned had no experience with the use of
physical force and none had seen it applied inappropriately to other inmates. At least one inmate
complained that some of the officers could be abrasive in language and had invaded his personal
space in confronting him, but no physical contact had ever been made.110
V.

CONCLUSION

Our overall impression of the DDC facility was that it was a clean and orderly facility
that was tightly run according to a set of rules that offered little flexibility. Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c and
the DDC do not try to meet the specific provisions set forth in the Standards, and the ICE
representatives accept this. Warden (b)(6), (b)(7)c ’ stated objective was to treat everyone the same,
however, this has the effect of ignoring legitimate differences between inmates and detainees
which are reflected by the Standards.
By far the most common complaint by detainees was the inadequate recreational
opportunities. A limit of two hours per week outside the pod, with much of that recreational
time either spent in an indoor gym or, if outside, then early in the morning, is inconsistent with
the Standards.
In addition, several detainees complained of difficulties in following, let alone contesting,
their immigration cases with such limited access to legal materials at the DDC. Significantly,
even those who had signed voluntary departure agreements were still waiting for departure, as
much as half a year after agreeing to depart the U.S.

109
110

Interviews with detaine
Interview with detainee

(b)(6), (b)(7)c
(b)(6), (b)(7)c

23

 

 

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