PHOENIX — A congressman wants internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement reviews made public of an Arizona prison where 14 inmates have died since 2003.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) wrote a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson on Tuesday to ask for internal documents pertaining to the Eloy Detention Center to be released.
“Eloy Detention Center has averaged more than one fatality per year for the past 12 years, and that is utterly unacceptable,” he said in a statement. “The fact that ICE reviews each incident after they occur begs the question of what they are finding, and what they are doing to end this terrible trend.”
In the letter to Johnson, Grijalva said he is concerned the prison has developed an overly harsh method of treatment that may have contributed to two inmate suicides in 2013 and other deaths.
Earlier this year, inmates reportedly held a hunger strike to protest the conditions at the for-profit center.
“The drinking water is terrible,” activist Francisco Porchas said of the conditions. “It has a lot of chemicals and produces a lot of stomach aches. The medical care, both physical and mental, is almost inaccessible.”
ICE denied a hunger strike was taking place.
The privately-owned facility is run by the Corrections Corporation of America.