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Oversight of Detention Centers and Prisons

Detention centers, prisons and jails have little oversight, which fosters an environment in which people in custody consistently have their human rights violated without much recourse. DHS oversight is conducted by the Office of Inspector General (OIG)—which is also housed in DHS. The OIG is a Senate-confirmed position nominated by the president, which means that its operations may be subject to politicization. The office itself has faced criticism regarding its leadership and ability to carry out its mission as well as claims of misconduct and politicization. A 2020 Congressional report raised alarms about the lack of ICE oversight and concordant medical negligence, preventable deaths and inadequate care that is widespread across ICE facilities. Increased independent oversight of these systems is necessary to eliminate the reproductive abuse, coercion and general harm done to those who are in the custody of these systems.