The American Nightmare

[Content Note: Sexual assault; exploitation; misogyny.]

Because for-profit prisons have worked out so well, now the US has for-profit detention centers for undocumented immigrants. And in news that should surprise no one but horrify and outrage everyone, some of the same problems are endemic at for-profit detention centers, including sexual assault of detainees:
Guards and staff have allegedly been sexually abusing mothers at a controversial immigration detention center for families in Texas that opened just two months ago, according to a complaint to the Department of Homeland Security filed by several advocacy groups this week.

The complaint filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and attorneys from the University of Texas School of Law alleges "substantial, ongoing sexual abuse" at the Karnes County Civil Detention Center in Karnes City, Texas.

Women at the 500-plus bed center, which opened in August, told attorneys that staff have been removing mothers from their cells at night to engage in sexual acts, promising immigration help in exchange for sexual favors, and groping women in front of children, according to the complaint.

"Guards using their respective positions of power to abuse vulnerable, traumatized women all over again is not only despicable, it's against the law," said Marisa Bono, staff attorney with MALDEF. "This is exactly why the federal government should not be in the business of detaining families."

Immigration and Customs Enforcement would not comment on the sexual claims, citing an ongoing investigation.
As you may recall, the GEO Group is the corporation which has previously been cited for allowing "a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate" at its facilities, and yet the US government continues to subcontract to this reprehensible carcerality profiteer, then has the unmitigated temerity to assert that it gives a fuck about what's happening.
"ICE has a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of sexual abuse or assault," said Nina Pruneda of DHS/ICE public affairs in an email. "Accusations of alleged unlawful conduct are investigated thoroughly and if substantiated, appropriate action is taken."
I guess "appropriate action" does not include not giving money to private contractors who have a demonstrable history of indifference to prisoner abuse.
"The government has no business detaining vulnerable mothers and children that it cannot protect from this type of abuse," said Barbara Hines of the University of Texas Immigration Clinic, which filed the complaint this week.

But ICE has said it can both detain families and keep them safe.
No, it can't.

There are people who got real miffed at me for being underwhelmed by and critical of the White House's "It's On Us" campaign against sexual assault. But one of the many things I dislike about it is that the White House's focus on rape prevention is limited to college campuses, and I've got no inclination at all to congratulate the White House for a half-assed prevention campaign that ignores the systemic sexual abuse of detainees in the nation's detention centers and prisons, and accepts congratulations for rape prevention while doing fuck-all to actually prevent rape of women who aren't privileged college students.

I've got nothing but contempt for the White House proclaiming "It's On Us" to prevent sexual abuse while giving money and support to corporations who exploit vulnerable people for a profit and allow endemic sexual abuse in their facilities.

We, the people, are paying the salaries of rapists.

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