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Deadly Detention

Deadly Detention: ICE and the Troubling Suicide of Immigrant JeanCarlo Jimenez

Co-published by International Business Times
A Capital & Main examination of Georgia’s Stewart Detention Center reveals new details about events surrounding the suicide of a young detainee, plus an interactive map providing information about each of the 179 immigrant detainees who have died in custody since 2003.




Photo: Robin Urevich

In her latest coverage of America’s expansive network of immigrant detention centers, Robin Urevich reports on the fateful story of JeanCarlo Jimenez Joseph, an artistic 27-year-old who got sucked into the deportation machine of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Like many undocumented detainees who arrived in the U.S. as children, and now find themselves awaiting expulsion from the nation that raised them, Jimenez felt no connection to his birth country, Panama. In fact, he found the prospect of returning there “scary.” He was also haunted by other, more formidable demons, displaying signs of mental illness before his incarceration, which may have led to his suicide last year in Georgia’s Stewart Detention Center.

Urevich’s report, “Self-Portrait of a Tragedy,” co-published by International Business Times, reveals these facts for the first time:

  • Jimenez was given only a quarter of the dose of the anti-psychotic medication he’d been prescribed outside the facility, despite asking for an increased dosage.
  • The facility waited six minutes to call 911. In a review of a 2013 suicide, ICE evaluators criticized staff at a Pennsylvania facility for waiting four minutes to call 911.
  • Jimenez was likely misclassified as the most dangerous level of detainee, resulting in his being housed with other detainees with a high-risk designation.
  • Jimenez was placed in solitary for a fight in which he was the victim, even though prison officials were aware of his history of suicide attempts. Half of successful prison suicides occur among the three to eight percent of prisoners in solitary confinement.

Our examination of Stewart also includes photographs and video and audio recordings of Jimenez and the place his young life ended.

In a companion piece, Urevich speaks to both a former ICE guard at Stewart, and an asylum seeker from Guatemala, who describe a culture of brutality and racism at the facility, which is operated under federal contract by the for-profit prison company CoreCivic.

Capital & Main also launches an interactive map created by our multimedia editor, Marco Amador, providing details about each of the 179 detainees who have died in ICE custody since 2003. Amador additionally created a disturbing video composed of detention-center phone calls between Jimenez and his family, culminating in the chaotic moments following the discovery of his body.

Copyright Capital & Main

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