Day 1 Alliance Statement on U.S. House Hearing on ICE Contractors’ Response to COVID-19
July 13, 2020
Washington, DC – The Day 1 Alliance issued the following statement by National Spokesperson Alexandra Wilkes on today’s virtual hearing on ICE contractors’ response to COVID-19 held by the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation & Operations:
“Day 1 Alliance members appreciate the opportunity to share with the U.S. House of Representatives their companies’ experiences in navigating this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which has presented unique and serious challenges to the criminal justice and immigration systems nationwide. Our members’ number-one priority throughout this difficult time has been the health and safety of the men and women in our care, and our thousands of employees doing heroic work every day on the front lines of this battle.
“Preventing and addressing infectious diseases to protect the health of those who reside and work in our facilities has long been a key part of our members’ facility operations. These measures are guided by the standards set by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other government partners, including the Performance-Based National Detention Standards, which include a range of standards for the management of infectious diseases. Frequent audits verify that our members are following these protocols.
“Our members have closely followed the guidelines set forth by both ICE and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which evolved over the course of the pandemic as health authorities learned more about COVID-19. Following that guidance and direction, our members have implemented a range of measures to protect the health of detainees and staff, including but not limited to:
- Adhering to ICE and CDC guidelines, and quickly implementing updates to those preventative measures as they are issued, including on key issues of testing, PPE, social distancing, and screening
- Providing education to detainees and staff on ways to limit the spread, and implementing social distancing measures
- Increasing cleaning and sanitation practices
- Distributing personal protective equipment and masks at each facility, as well as providing soap and hand sanitizer to detainees and staff
- Screening and isolating active and potential cases from the general population
- Screening detainees being transferred in and out of facilities
- Acting with a high degree of transparency, providing regular updates to our government partners as well as the local community, state, and federal leaders
“It is important to point out that contractors play no role in transfer or release decisions for detainees. Managing detainee populations – including where they are cared for and when they are released – is the role of our government partners.
“As this pandemic continues, we want to acknowledge the tremendous work that thousands of our members’ employees are doing each and every day to protect the health and safety of the men and women in our care. They’re heroes on the front lines of this fight, often putting their own safety on the line to help others. They deserve our utmost respect and admiration.”
ABOUT THE DAY 1 ALLIANCE:
The Day 1 Alliance (D1A) is a trade association representing private sector contractors helping address corrections and detention challenges in the United States. For more than 35 years, D1A members have worked with local, state, and federal governments led by members of both political parties to provide professional, humane, and respectful treatment to incarcerated and detained individuals. From day one, we understand we have a responsibility to provide safe and dignified care to those in our facilities. D1A members do not lobby for or against policies, regulations, or legislation that impact the basis for or duration of an individual’s incarceration or detention.
The members of the Day 1 Alliance are CoreCivic, The GEO Group, LaSalle Corrections, and Management & Training Corporation.
Learn more at day1alliance.org and follow us on Twitter @TheDay1Alliance.