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RI Activists Join ICE Detainees Protesting Jail Conditions

Published
Activist groups in Rhode Island have started a phone campaign in solidarity with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees protesting conditions in a Boston jail.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees claim corrections officers use abusive language and discriminate against immigrants. They also claim officers ignore broken showers and TVs.  

72 detainees at the Suffolk County House of Correction began refusing meals Friday, and Rhode Island based activists began a phone campaign Monday. Arely Diaz, organizer with the Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance and the FANG Collective, said the groups are calling corrections officials to echo the detainees’ demands.

“So that’s the better conditions and better treatment that they list in their official letter of grievances and complaints and to remove the people from solitary confinement that are placed inside simply for participating in the hunger strike,” Diaz said.

According to Diaz, detainees said four people were put in solitary confinement in retaliation for participating in the hunger strike. Activists are also demanding more evidence that the facility has permission to hold ICE detainees for an extended period of time.

“There was also an additional accusation made by detainees against the Suffolk County House of Corrections regarding the legality of holding people there for extended periods of time,” Diaz said.

Diaz said the jail’s Intergovernmental Service Agreement to house ICE detainees doesn’t specify how long detainees can be held at the facility. Activists are pushing corrections officials to release more detailed information. 

Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department South Bay House of Correction
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department South Bay House of Correction