WNYC quotes NYLPI: ICE Detainees In Newark Allege Poor Medical Care And Mistreatment

January 28, 2020

Health Justice, Health in Immigration Detention, Immigrant Justice, Media Coverage, News

WNYC and Gothamist cited NYLPI’s work in covering substandard medical care at Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark, the largest Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in the New York/New Jersey area.  They also quoted NYLPI’s Karina Albistegui Adler.  NYLPI organized and operates a Medical Provider Network to advocate for better healthcare in immigration detention, published an investigative report on abuses in care, and has filed multiple federal lawsuits.

But the crux of the immigrants’ claims are backed up by First Friends of New York and New Jersey—a nonprofit that sends volunteers to visit the jail—which also fielded an uptick in medical complaints late last year. And New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, which has a program to aid detainees on medical matters, said access to more than basic health care in the four immigration jails in New Jersey, including Essex, is difficult to come by.


Around the country, ICE detention facilities have been plagued with medical issues. Human Rights Watch says that of the 74 deaths in immigration detention since 2010, medical experts have concluded that “medical care lapses contributed to or led to 23 deaths in 19 different detention facilities.”

The article cited NYLPI’s recent lawsuit against the Hudson County facility and ongoing investigation.

Essex contracts with a company, CFG Health Systems, to run the medical unit for about $13 million a year. CFG has faced criticism in the past. Its contract at the jail in nearby Hudson County, where New York ICE detainees are held, was terminated after six deaths there in 2017 and 2018. In a suit filed last week, a former Hudson detainee with severe psoriasis and arthritis said after a dermatologist made an “urgent” referral to a rheumatologist, he wasn’t seen by that specialist for six months. And last month, CFG was sued by a former Essex detainee who claimed a failure to provide proper follow-up care after he was beaten up in the jail.


There are systemic failures related to intake of new detainees and follow-up care when it comes to chronic conditions, according to Karina Albistegui Adler, who monitors medical conditions at the New Jersey jails for the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.

“When you’re seeing medical conditions that are less prevalent—that are a little bit more complex—that’s when I see our clients get into situations with their health that become dangerous and health threatening,” she said. “As far as even outside specialist care, we’ve seen months go by before they’re seen or anything is arranged.”

For the full article, please click here.

To listen to the WNYC audio, please click here.


Take Action

Here’s what you can do right now for justice in New York…

Stay up to date

Get updates on our cases and campaigns, and join us in taking action for justice…

Stay Connected

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and opportunities to take action from our team.

Thanks! We’ll be in touch soon!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!