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Inmate deaths and lack of oversight found in ICE contract prisons

A guard employed by Emerald Correctional Management enters the Two Rivers Regional Detention Center in Hardin, Mont., on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. Emerald recently took over operations of the 464-bed jail that had sat empty since its 2007 construction. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Grant recipient Robin Urevich has published a series of stories in Capital & Main outlining two deaths connected to inadequate medical care at immigration detention centers run by Emerald Correctional Management. Urevich’s investigation found that the firm received millions from no-bid government contracts while providing sub-par service—this despite a history of poor performance on the part of the company. As of 2016, the company had abandoned or been fired from more detention contracts than it maintained.

The Louisiana-based firm went out of business in 2017, but the abuses uncovered reflect a lack of oversight by ICE in vetting potential prison contractors. Immigration detention has expanded fivefold in the past 23 years, Urevich reports, and with the Trump administration’s deportation surge, is growing larger.

A guard employed by Emerald Correctional Management enters one of the company’s detention centers in 2014. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)