Lost in Detention: Documents

During a year-long investigation into the Willacy Detention Center, PBS FRONTLINE and the Investigative Reporting Workshop heard about several disturbing cases of sexual abuse. A cache of government documents recently obtained by the ACLU reveal that claims of sexual abuse are widespread throughout the U.S. detention system. They offer the best window yet into the government’s knowledge and investigation of such abuse inside Willacy and more than 50 other facilities across the nation. These documents are some of the more than 170 sexual abuse complaints from the Inspector General's Office, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at DHS.

Sexual abuse complaint from Pennsylvania, but no resolution noted

Like many other detainee complaints we analyzed, this 2010 case from York, Pa., has no apparent resolution. This ...

Some cases involved gay and transgender detainees

This 2011 complaint is one of 13 involving gay and transgender detainees alleging mistreatment. This document was obtained by a ...

Sometimes, abuse is detainee-on-detainee, as alleged in Washington

Several dozen cases involved other detainees as the alleged perpetrators, as in this 2010 report from the Office of Professional ...

Willacy Detention Center largest source of complaints

Willacy Detention Center in Raymondville, Texas, generated the largest number of complaints within the Office of Inspector General's database. 

Complaints are passed on to other offices; no record of resolutions 

In the first page of complaints we received from DHS's Office of Inspector General, every record was passed on to ...

Corrections officer found guilty of sexual abuse of a ward

A correctional officer at the LaSalle Parish Detention Center in Jena, La. was found guilty of sexual abuse of a ...

Detainees allege retaliation when they file grievances

In this 2007 complaint a detainee says he was retaliated against when filing a grievance. Detention centers have their own ...

Immigrations enforcement agent assaulted detainee while transporting her

An Immigrations enforcement agent was sentenced to 87 months in prison after allegations he assaulted a female detainee he drove ...