WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has notified the Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation of the agency's intention to terminate the agreement to house detainees at the Donald Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island. ICE will terminate the agreement effective 60 days from Friday, January 16, 2009. Due to an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Hiu Lui Ng at Wyatt, ICE took precautions and promptly ceased sending additional detainees to the Wyatt contract facility and quickly relocated the remaining 153 ICE detainees from the facility in December 2008.
The investigation, which was completed on January 12, 2009, revealed a consistent lack of communication regarding Mr. Ng's healthcare needs between medical and security personnel at Wyatt. The investigation also revealed that there were instances of non-compliance by Wyatt contract personnel with the ICE National Detention Standards and multiple failures to adhere to the facility's rules and policy. As part of the investigation, ICE reviewed the policies and procedures used by Wyatt to evaluate the health care needs of Mr. Ng and to provide him with access to health care. ICE further reviewed the procedures used to distribute medication to detainees and the use of wheelchairs to assist in the transportation of detainees, including Mr. Ng.
ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) found that contract personnel at Wyatt failed to provide Mr. Ng a wheelchair on a number of occasions, resulting in Mr. Ng effectively being denied access to his counsel as well as to a medical appointment. ICE OPR also found that the facility guards and medical staff failed to adhere to the facility's use of force policy.
ICE strives to maintain safe, secure and humane detention conditions and quality health care. We make every effort to enforce all existing standards and whenever possible, to improve upon them. ICE requires that all facilities housing detainees meet our National Detention Standards, which meet or exceed industry standards. When we find that our standards are not being met by contract facilities, we take immediate action to ensure the safety and well being of all ICE detainees.