JENA, La. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that a dedication ceremony was held here today for the newly remodeled Jena Detention Facility located at 830 Pinehill Rd.
The facility, which may house up to 1,162, officially opened its doors last November and began to transfer detainees in phases. In May, the ICE Office of Detention and Removal (DRO) completed all transfers and the facility is now fully operational.
The remodeled facility includes a new ICE building, one female unit, two male units and a food service and laundry building covering a 179,850 square foot area. The building, which was a former juvenile detention center, was retrofitted by the White Construction Company to provide state-of-the-art technology, which will ensure a safer and more secure environment for both the detained population and staff.
The new facility will house ICE detainees, officers, attorneys, medical personnel and the Executive Office of Immigration Review's (EOIR's) courts. The facility has video teleconferencing capabilities, attorney visitation rooms, family visitation areas, consular visitation rooms and recreational areas.
"This facility will enhance our capabilities to uphold our nation's immigration laws," said Philip Miller, ICE deputy field office director for the Office of Detention and Removal in New Orleans. "As we receive additional resources and funding, we will continue seeking additional bed space to detain those who blatantly disregard the rule of law."
Safety and security wasn't the only feature considered when retrofitting the facility. Environmental issues were considered as well. In fact, all water features (i.e., sinks, toilets, etc.) are fitted with motion sensors, helping to eliminate wasted resources. Additionally, most of the office furniture was made by inmates from the Bureau of Prisons, Unicore and Federal Prison Industries.
DRO is responsible for promoting public safety and national security by ensuring the departure of all removable aliens from the United States through the fair enforcement of the nation's immigration laws. DRO employs its resources and expertise to locate and arrest fugitive aliens; to detain certain aliens while their cases are being processed; and to remove them from the United States when so ordered. DRO strives to ensure the integrity of U.S. immigration law by swiftly apprehending and removing offenders. DRO includes 6,700 authorized employees, including nearly 5,300 law enforcement officers and 1,400 support personnel.