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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of sexual abuse or assault.

ICE maintains a Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention (SAAPI) Program that ensures effective procedures for preventing, reporting, responding to, investigating, and tracking incidents or allegations of sexual abuse or assault against individuals in ICE detention.

ICE is committed to safety and security in all its detention and holding facilities.

Implementation of Protections

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) PREA Regulation

On March 7, 2014, DHS issued the regulation titled “Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Sexual Abuse and Assault in Confinement Facilities” (DHS Prison Rape Elimination Act [PREA]). This regulation built upon existing ICE sexual assault and abuse related policies and practices, and outlined robust requirements for screening, training, detainee education, reporting, response, medical care, investigative protocols, discipline, and monitoring and oversight.

DHS PREA is divided into three subparts:

  • Subpart A: Covers long-term immigration detention facilities, which house individuals in immigration proceedings or awaiting removal from the United States.
  • Subpart B: Covers holding facilities used by ICE for the temporary administrative detention of individuals pending release from custody or transfer to a court, jail, prison, other agency or other unit of the facility or agency.
  • Subpart C: Covers DHS PREA audits and compliance.

Related ICE Policy and Protocols

On May 22, 2014, ICE issued ICE Policy No. 11062.2: Sexual Assault and Abuse Prevention and Intervention (SAAPI Directive). The SAAPI Directive incorporates DHS PREA requirements applicable to ICE at the agency level and extends SAAPI protections to all individuals in ICE custody, regardless of whether they are in a confinement facility at the time.

On September 22, 2014, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) issued ICE Policy No. 11087.1: Operations of ERO Holding Facilities (“ICE Hold Room Directive”). This directive incorporates DHS PREA requirements and protections for all individuals at ERO holding facilities.

Facility Implementation

Prior to the issuance of DHS PREA standards, ICE developed strong safeguards against sexual abuse and assault of its detainees in both agency policies and the ICE detention standards. The ICE Family Residential Standards (FRS) and ICE Performance Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS) 2008 outline responsibilities for facility detention staff and included a standard to protect detainees from sexual abuse and assault in facilities. The PBNDS 2011 Standard 2.11, Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention (SAAPI), reinforced existing protections by strengthening requirements for screening, staff training, and detainee education, protection and appropriate housing of victims, protocols for conducting prompt and thorough investigations, and tracking and monitoring those investigations. Not all facilities are obligated to comply with PBNDS 2011; however, in 2013, ICE requested any detention facilities with an average daily population (ADP) of greater than 10 detainees implement PBNDS 2011 Standard 2.11.  Fifty-seven detention facilities not otherwise covered by PBNDS 2011 adopted Standard 2.11. 

DHS PREA mandates adoption of its requirements in any new, renewed, or substantively modified detention contracts. As of the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, ICE successfully implemented DHS PREA Subpart A standards at 50 over-72-hour facilities. These include all dedicated ICE adult facilities (i.e., facilities that exclusively hold ICE detainees), all family residential facilities and 18 non-dedicated ICE detention facilities. All ICE hold rooms and staging facilities are covered by PREA Subpart B.

By the end of FY 2018, DHS PREA standards were adopted at detention facilities housing 70% of the ICE ADP, and 88% of the ICE ADP when excluding U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities.1 ICE continues to pursue DHS PREA implementation for any new, renewed, or substantively modified detention contracts.

When combining the sexual abuse and assault safeguards contained in DHS PREA Standards, PBNDS 2008, PBNDS 2011, and Standard 2.11, approximately 97% of the ICE ADP is covered by these extensive protections and prevention requirements.2


1. These facilities are covered by the U.S. Department of Justice PREA regulations. | return to text

2. Excluding ICE ADP in USMS and DOJ BOP facilities which are covered by the DOJ PREA regulations | return to text

Prevention of Sexual Assault (PSA) Coordinators

The ICE SAAPI Directive and DHS PREA Standards require the designation of an upper-level, agency-wide ICE Prevention of Sexual Assault (PSA) Coordinator. An ERO Deputy Assistant Director is currently assigned as the ICE PSA Coordinator.

The ICE SAAPI Directive also requires both Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and ICE Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) to designate PSA Coordinators to assist in ensuring compliance in their respective program offices. The ICE, ERO, and OPR PSA Coordinators work together to develop and implement agency policies and standards related to sexual abuse and assault prevention and intervention. ERO currently has two staff performing ICE ERO PSA Coordinator duties.

How to Make a Report

ICE provides detainees and their attorneys, family, friends, and associates multiple ways to report sexual abuse, retaliation for reporting sexual abuse, or staff neglect or violations of responsibilities that may have contributed to such incidents. Third parties not connected to a detainee can also report these allegations. Reports are confidential and may be made anonymously, both verbally and in writing.

The following offices accept reports of sexual abuse or assault:

The DHS Office of the Inspector General (DHS OIG):

The DHS OIG may be reached at 1-800-323-8603 or:
Office of Inspector General/MAIL STOP 0305
Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Lane SW
Washington, DC 20528-0305

The ICE ERO Detention Reporting and Information Line (DRIL):

The DRIL may be reached at 888-351-4024 or by completing the form at https://www.ice.gov/webform/ero-contact-form

The ICE Office of Professional Responsibility (ICE OPR):

ICE OPR can be reached via the Joint Intake Center (JIC) at 877-246-8253, or by email at Joint.Intake@dhs.gov or:
DHS ICE OPR
PO Box 14475
Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20044 

Victim Resources

ICE provides access to victim services and victim advocates for detainees who have been subjected to sexual abuse and assault. Victim services may be provided either within the facility or in the local community. Victim advocates can assist and support the victim as he or she negotiates reporting, interviews, and related medical and mental health examinations and evaluations. Victim and advocacy services are provided at no charge to the detainee.  

Protections

U visas provide temporary immigration status to victims of certain qualifying crimes, including sexual abuse and assault. Additional information about U visas can be found here.

Other PREA-Related Questions or Concerns

Individuals may also contact the ICE ERO Detention Reporting and Information Line (DRIL) for any other issues and questions related to PREA or the sexual abuse and assault of individuals in ICE custody:

The ICE ERO Detention Reporting and Information Line (DRIL):

The DRIL may be reached at 888-351-4024 or by completing the form at https://www.ice.gov/webform/ero-contact-form

  • DHS PREA Regulation: Sets Department of Homeland Security (DHS) standards to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse in ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confinement facilities.
  • ICE SAAPI Directive: Establishes policy and procedures for the prevention of sexual abuse or assault of individuals in ICE custody and provides ICE-wide policy and procedures for timely notification of sexual abuse and assault allegations, prompt and coordinated response and intervention, and effective monitoring of sexual abuse and assault investigations.
  • ICE Hold Room Directive: Establishes ERO policy and procedures for holding facilities and incorporates the relevant DHS PREA requirements. The ICE Hold Room Directive is Law Enforcement Sensitive and not currently publicly available.

ICE Detention Standards

DHS PREA requires routine audits of ICE detention and holding facilities’ compliance with the regulation’s mandates. ICE began audits in Fiscal Year 2017. ICE PREA Audit Reports will be posted on this page as they become available.

ICE PREA Statistics

To achieve zero tolerance, ICE must hold accountable perpetrators of all types of sexual misconduct. The number of incidents reported accords with this philosophy, and ICE is committed to responding to, reporting, and investigating every sexual assault allegation received. ICE has a low reporting threshold and errs on the side of reporting all allegations. Included in the DHS PREA standards is a requirement for ICE to compile and review sexual abuse data in order to assess and improve the effectiveness of its SAAPI program.

The data presented below is grouped by fiscal year, and includes overall allegation numbers, additional details regarding victims and subjects, as well as types of sexual assault allegations, and investigative outcomes.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention (SAAPI) Data FY2014-FY2018

Data source: Information as reflected in Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention Case Management System as of 6/24/2019. Fiscal year 2018 data extracted from ICE Integrated Decision Support System (IIDS) as of 10/10/2018; Enforcement Integrated Database (EID) data through 10/6/2018.

ICE SAAPI Numbers FY2014-FY2018

Allegations and ADP per Fiscal Year

 

Fiscal YearNumber of CasesADPAllegation Rate per 1,000 by ADP
201425433,2277.64
201524728,4498.68
201630834,3768.96
201726438,1066.93
201837442,1888.87
Total

1,447

N/A N/A

 

PREA Allegations by Investigative Outcome

Case OutcomeFY 2014FY 2015FY 2016FY 2017FY 2018
Cases%Cases%Cases%Cases%Cases%
Substantiated3313%3715%4615%249%4813%
Unsubstantiated14858%14760%19965%17265%21557%
Unfounded7228%6326%6320%6424%8222%
Open1*0%00%00%42%298%
Total254100%247100%308100%264100%374100%

* This case is open as the criminal investigation is still pending.

PREA Allegations by Victim Gender

GenderFY 2014FY 2015FY 2016FY 2017FY 2018
Cases%Cases%Cases%Cases%Cases%
Male20982%17972%23075%20277%29378%
Female4116%5422%6120%4919%5816%
Transgender42%146%165%125%236%
Unknown*00%00%10%10%00%
Total254100%247100%308100%264100%374100%

*Unknown allegations were received from a third party and had insufficient information to identify the victim.

PREA Allegations by Type of Alleged Perpetrator

Perpetrator TypeFY 2014FY 2015FY 2016FY 2017FY 2018
Cases%Cases%Cases%Cases%Cases%
Detainee18171%17872%21469%18169%24866%
Contractor6325%5723%8126%5822%10528%
ICE Staff21%10%00%73%62%
Inmate83%83%93%135%123%
Unknown00%31%41%52%31%
Total254100%247100%308100%264100%374100%

*Allegations that are categorized as “unknown” occur when the alleged victim or reporting party is unable to identify the alleged perpetrator.

When U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began separately tracking sexual abuse and assault allegations in fiscal year (FY) 2014, the agency used classifications from the Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Subsequently, in FY 2016, ICE made the decision to adopt the definitions from the 2014 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Sexual Abuse and Assault in Confinement Facilities” known as DHS Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

PREA Allegations by Incident Classification

Incident ClassificationFY 2014FY 2015
Cases%Cases%
1-Nonconsensual Sexual Acts - High125%208%
2-Nonconsensual Sexual Acts - Low249%114%
3-"Willing" Sex with Staff31%62%
4-Abusive Sexual Contacts - High156%3012%
5-Abusive Sexual Contacts - Low9738%9639%
6-Staff Sexual Misconduct - Touching Only3213%3113%
7-Indecent Exposure21%73%
Harassment Only6927%4619%
Total254100%247100%

PREA Allegations by Incident Classification

Incident ClassificationFY 2016FY 2017FY 2018
Cases%Cases%Cases%
Detainee: Genital Contact93%42%92%
Detainee: Inappropriate Touching14848%14455%15943%
Detainee: Object Penetration62%104%92%
Detainee: Oral Contact103%42%51%
Detainee: Threat, Coercion, Intimidation5418%3614%8222%
Staff: Genital Contact21%10%21%
Staff: Inappropriate Touching5016%3313%6618%
Staff: Object Penetration21%42%21%
Staff: Oral Contact00%00%00%
Staff: Threat, Coercion, Intimidation134%156%236%
Staff: Verbal Abuse52%62%10%
Staff: Voyeurism93%73%164%
Total308100%264100%374100%

*The majority of the allegations classified as inappropriate touching by staff occur during pat searches.

Substantiated PREA Allegations by Incident Classification

Incident ClassificationFY 2014FY 2015
Cases%Cases%
1-Nonconsensual Sexual Acts - High13%411%
2-Nonconsensual Sexual Acts - Low39%00%
3-"Willing" Sex with Staff26%00%
4-Abusive Sexual Contacts - High412%25%
5-Abusive Sexual Contacts - Low1236%1746%
6-Staff Sexual Misconduct - Touching Only26%25%
7-Indecent Exposure00%13%
Harassment Only927%1130%
Total33100%37100%

Substantiated PREA Allegations by Incident Classification

Incident ClassificationFY 2016FY 2017FY 2018
Cases%Cases%Cases%
Detainee: Genital Contact00%00%24%
Detainee: Inappropriate Touching3474%1667%2450%
Detainee: Object Penetration00%00%00%
Detainee: Oral Contact12%00%12%
Detainee: Threat, Coercion, Intimidation613%521%1838%
Staff: Genital Contact00%00%12%
Staff: Inappropriate Touching24%00%00%
Staff: Object Penetration00%00%00%
Staff: Oral Contact00%00%00%
Staff: Threat, Coercion, Intimidation37%313%24%
Staff: Verbal Abuse00%00%00%
Staff: Voyeurism00%00%00%
Total46100%24100%48100%

*The majority of the allegations classified as inappropriate touching by staff occur during pat searches.

Please note, the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention Case Management system is a dynamic database with new allegations entered regularly. A detainee may make an allegation today regarding an incident that occurred in a previous fiscal year which would then change that fiscal year’s SAAPI CM allegation numbers. ICE also conducts periodic data reviews to ensure data quality. In FY 2018, ERO conducted a large-scale review comparing all ERO records with the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) records which led to data changes in some fiscal years.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 08/07/2019