Federal Report Exposes $25M Spent on Empty Beds at Private ICE Facility

A 2023 federal report reveals over $25 million was spent on empty bed space at a privately run ICE facility in California in 2022-23. The report's findings come amid a 10-month labor strike and hunger strike by detainees protesting living conditions and underpaid labor.

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Mazhar Abbas
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Federal Report Exposes $25M Spent on Empty Beds at Private ICE Facility

Federal Report Exposes $25M Spent on Empty Beds at Private ICE Facility

A 2023 federal report has revealed that over $25 million was spent on empty bed space at GEO Group's privately run Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) center in McFarland, California, in 2022-23. The report, released on April 18, 2024, was compiled by the U.S. Inspector General's office after an unannounced visit to the facility from April 18 to 20, 2023.

Why this matters: This report highlights the inefficient use of taxpayer funds and raises concerns about the management and oversight of privately run immigration detention centers. It also adds to the growing scrutiny of conditions and practices at these facilities, which can have significant implications for the lives of detainees and the broader immigration system.

The inspection included a tour of the facility, a review of its records, and interviews with staff and detainees. The findings expose a significant expenditure on unused capacity at the privately operated detention center.

The report's release comes amidst an ongoing 10-month labor strike by detainees at two immigration detention facilities in Kern County, protesting living conditions and underpaid labor. As of May 3, 2024, dozens of detainees have been on a hunger strike for five days, demanding their release and better living conditions.

The GEO Group, a private prison company, operates the McFarland facility under contract with ICE. The $25 million spent on empty bed space highlights concerns about the management and oversight of privately run immigration detention centers.

The federal report's findings raise questions about the efficiency and necessity of maintaining such a high capacity at the McFarland facility, especially given the significant cost to taxpayers. As the hunger strike by detainees continues, the report adds to the growing scrutiny of conditions and practices at privately operated ICE detention centers.

Key Takeaways

  • $25M spent on empty beds at GEO Group's ICE facility in McFarland, CA.
  • Report highlights inefficient use of taxpayer funds and poor management.
  • Detainees at 2 Kern County facilities on 10-month labor strike and 5-day hunger strike.
  • GEO Group operates facility under contract with ICE, raising oversight concerns.
  • Report adds to scrutiny of conditions and practices at private ICE detention centers.