U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) announced on Tuesday, March 13, the opening of its first-ever designed-and-built civil detention center, as part of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) overall detention reform program.
"This civil detention center represents a first in the entire history of immigration detention," said ICE Director John Morton. "Karnes and others like it are one part of an ICE detention reform program that is sensible, sustainable and attentive to the unique needs of the individuals in our custody."
The civil detention facility model allows for greater unescorted movement, enhanced recreational opportunities and contact visitation, while maintaining a safe and secure atmosphere for detainees and staff.
In December 2010, ICE entered into an intergovernmental service agreement with
ICE's detention reform efforts call for putting detention centers in strategic locations that maximize detainee access to local consulates and pro-bono legal services, reduce detainee transfers within the detention system and increase overall operational efficiencies, allowing for a reduction in detainees' average length of stay in ICE custody.