Immigrants at the Glades County Detention Center are experiencing racialized violence, sexually abusive behavior, medical neglect, inhumane treatment, and attacks on their dignity and safety.
Similar to ICE detention centers nationwide, the Glades County Detention Center in Moore Haven, Florida has a long history of horrific conditions and human rights abuses. From pervasive sexual and medical misconduct to unlawful overuse of toxic chemicals, the facility continues to attack and dehumanize vulnerable people. We need to shut it down immediately.
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- Timeline of Events at Glades
- Shut Down Glades Coalition
- Tell Local and Federal Officials to Take Action
- Get Engaged by Signing Up to Volunteer
- Additional Resources
Since the onset of the pandemic, over 35 civil rights complaints have been filed on behalf of individuals suffering at Glades.
About half of those complaints were filed under the current Administration. This past summer, eight members of Congress sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) calling for the closure of this facility and some continue to advocate for individuals in danger in the facility.
June 2020 - COVID-19 is rampant throughout the facility, with the entire detention center grouped together, including people testing negative and those actively sick. Many sick people are denied medical care. Toxic chemical spray starts.
August 2020 - Onoval Perez-Montufa dies from COVID-19 inside Glades. He made it known he had medical conditions qualifying him for release and placing him at greatly elevated risk, but ICE refused to release him.
December 2020 - Individuals in the facility go on a hunger strike due to horrible conditions and are retaliated against with pepper spray and excessive use of force.
February 2021 - Shutdown Glades coalition submits a civil rights complaint to DHS on behalf of over 25 people.
February- April 2021 - ICE continues to overpay Glades County by sometimes double or triple the amount needed based on occupancy levels, allowing them to continue to profit off immigrant detention at taxpayers’ expense.
July 2021 - Eight Members of Congress urge DHS Secretary Mayorkas to shut down the facility.
July 2021 - Uptick in transfers into Glades, including a large number of women sent to Glades from across the country.
August 2021 - The Coalition files another complaint to DHS on behalf of seven women citing violations of women’s civil rights, overuse of toxic chemical spray, sexual harassment, sexual voyeurism, medical neglect, and other abuses at Glades. This is one of over 30 complaints that have been filed in the past year.
September 2021 - Detention center staff racially targeted Black immigrants by threatening at least one individual with a noose; making death threats; and using pepper spray, solitary confinement, and use of force punitively, without cause, and contrary to ICE Detention Condition Standards. Two civil rights complaints are filed focused on the anti-blackness taking place at Glades.
Roughly 100 individuals detained in Glades go on a hunger strike demanding sanitation, desperately needed medical care, and release from the facility.
The Scientific American publishes a story revealing records that show ICE officials used a toxic chemical spray in levels deemed unsafe and illegal by the EPA and could do long-term damage to people in Glades.
At the end of September, Glades county officials has the opportunity to decline to renew their contract with the Department of Homeland Security, but even after 1160 pleas from the Florida community to shut down this facility and all of the abuses reported, they have chosen to extend the contract for 6 more months, and continue to put lives at risk.
October 2021 - Anti-black violence continues at Glades and two additional civil rights complaints are filed highlighting racial abuse. There is a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.
January 2022 - Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the ACLU of Florida file an administrative complaint against Glades County Detention Center for breaking federal law by regularly deleting its surveillance footage every 90 days despite an ICE contractual requirement to retain the video for three years and open public record requests seeking the footage.
February 2022 - 17 members of Congress urge DHS Secretary Mayorkas to shut down the facility.
March 2022 - 14 environmental and immigrants’ rights organizations have called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to investigate Glades County Detention Center for exposing immigrants to toxic chemicals multiple times a day.
At the end of March, ICE transfers all remaining individuals out of Glades County Detention Center and announces it will limit its use of the facility, citing “persistent and ongoing concerns related to the provision of detainee medical care.”
April 2022 - The performance contract at Glades expires, pausing all ICE operations at Glades indefinitely. However, the overarching intergovernmental service agreement between ICE and Glades County remains active, leaving the door open for ICE to resume detaining immigrants there at any time.
Present - ICE no longer has people detained at Glades County Detention Center. The Shut Down Glades Coalition continues to push for cancellation of the overarching agreement between ICE and Glades County to ensure people cannot be sent there in the future, shed light on all the abuses and constitutional violations that occurred, and seek justice for people hurt at Glades.
We aren’t the only ones concerned. Led by Immigrant Action Alliance and other partners, a coalition of national and local organizations have come together in an attempt to shut down Glades, advocating for either Glades County or ICE to move to terminate their intergovernmental service agreement.
Coalition members for the Shutdown Glades campaign include, but are not limited to:
- ACLU FL
- AI Justice
- Detention Watch Network
- Doctors for Camp Closures Florida Chapter
- Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC)
- Freedom for Immigrants
- Immigrant Action Alliance
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- United We Dream
Tell Department of Homeland Security Officials to Shut Down Glades
From pervasive sexual and medical misconduct to unlawful use of toxic chemicals, Glades Detention Center continues to attack and dehumanize vulnerable people. The Biden Administration and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have the power to terminate their contract with Glades County and end these horrifying abuses. They must take action immediately.
Contact the Glades County Commission to Shut Down Glades
The Glades County Detention Center, located in Florida, has a long documented history of horrific conditions and human rights abuses. We need to shut it down immediately. Locally, the Glades County Commission also has the power to terminate its contract with ICE and end these abuses.
Join our Floridians for Immigrant Justice Campaign Volunteer Team:
We also invite you to join our Floridians for Immigrant Justice Campaign volunteer team. We have active teams working to make our state better for immigrants. You can learn more by visiting: https://www.aclufl.org/en/campaigns/floridians-immigrant-justice. Join us by filling out our campaign volunteer form.
- SPLC, Prison by Any Other Name: A Report on South Florida Detention Facilities
- Vera Institute, More than a Jail: Immigrant Detention and the Smell of Money
- Immigrant Rights Advocates Submit Civil Rights Complaint to Shut Down Glades County Detention Center, Amidst Reckless COVID-19 Response
- ACLU Files Lawsuit Seeking Release of Immigrants Highly Vulnerable to COVID-19 at the Glades County Detention Center