September 15, 2020

Watson Coleman Calls for Investigation and Resignations Following Reports of Forced Hysterectomies at ICE Facility

Congresswoman Watson Coleman, a member of the Committee on Homeland Security, today demanded the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia be shut down immediately while an investigation is undertaken into allegations of mass hysterectomies being performed on non-consenting detainees. A number of news agencies reported last night that a whistleblower at the facility, run by a private prison firm LaSalle South Corrections, revealed that female detainees were routinely given hysterectomies by an outside gynecologist, often without their consent.

“This level of barbarism is almost unimaginable. This country has a long, disturbing history of mistreating prisoners and detainees, but this level of cold-blooded inhumanity is truly sickening,” said Watson Coleman. “This facility must be shut down immediately, Tony PHam must immediately step down as Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, his superior Chad Wolf must step down as Secretary of Homeland Security, and a full and thorough investigation must begin including identifying the physician in question.

“This is another example of the dangerous and often illegal behavior that occurs when we outsource our corrections and detention services to private companies. Private prisons have long lacked necessary oversight, creating breeding grounds for malpractice and simultaneously allowing the government officials who should be in charge to claim plausible deniability when crimes are committed. For this very reason I introduced the End For-Profit Prisons Act almost four years ago. It is time we reexamine our approach to detention of all kinds."