Monday, June 29, 2015

Death in Detention

Congressman Grijalva calls for Justice Department investigation into suicide of undocumented man at private prison

By Jim Nintzel, Tucson Weekly
June 25, 2015

The autopsy shows that while undocumented immigrant Jose de Jesus Deniz-Sahagun was being housed in a privately run Eloy prison in May, he shoved a sock down his throat and choked on it.

Deniz-Sahagun, 31, was a troubled inmate. The autopsy report, by Pima County Forensic Pathologist Gregory L. Hess, notes that Deniz-Sahagun arrived at the Eloy Detention Center on May 18 with "delusional thoughts and behaviors" and was placed on a constant watch because he was threatening to kill himself. On May 20, the guards reduced the constant watch to cell checks every 15 minutes, which evidently gave Deniz-Sahagun enough time to swallow his knee-high orange sock and end his own life.

In the wake of his death, rampant rumors were coming out of the prison, where Corrections Corporation of America detains undocumented immigrants under contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Phoenix-based Puente Human Rights Movement announced that 200 people were refusing to eat, calling for an end to abuse and exploitation, but INS officials have told the press that no hunger strike was [...]

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