Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora
Authorities investigate alleged negligence in medical care, and mistreatment of immigrants detained at the Irwin County Detention Center, ICDC en Georgia, U.S, according to a document from the Project South organization that collects statements from a former nurse who worked in the entity.
Complaints against the center include unsafe work practices and lack of adequate protection against COVID-19 for detained immigrants and employees alike., according to the complaints collected by the testimony of nurse Dawn Wooten, who is listed as a protected witness in the case.
Wooten also warned about the situation of several immigrant women from different countries who underwent alleged hysterectomies without requesting them, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, the document refers.
The complaint was filed on behalf of the immigrants detained at the Irwin County Detention Center; accompanied by statement by Dawn Wooten, a licensed practical nurse employed by ICDC, represented by the Government Accountability Project and the South Project.
The complaint, as well as the attached statement from Wooten (which is incorporated by reference) document recent accounts of alleged medical malpractice, including refusal to test for COVID-19 on detained immigrants who have been exposed to the virus and are symptomatic.
The document also talks about dangerous and reckless actions taken by ICDC management., how to allow employees to work while symptomatic awaiting COVID-19 test results and withhold information from detained employees and immigrants about who tested positive for COVID-19.
He adds that for years, Immigrants detained at ICDC have denounced human rights abuses, including lack of medical and mental health care, due process violations, unsanitary living conditions and more, as reported in the report 2017 of Project South titled “Jailed justice”.
The Immigration and Customs office, ICE (for its acronym in English), ensures in a statement that these allegations will be fully investigated by an independent office.
“Health care decisions concerning detainees are made by medical personnel, not law enforcement personnel. Detainees have the right to informed consent, and a medical procedure such as a hysterectomy, would never be done against the will of a detainee”, ensures the statement.