ICYMI: Health And Immigrant Advocates Call For Better Health Oversight In ICE Detention
Minnesota Immigrant Health Alliance and Our Stories. Our Health. members highlight the healthcare failings in detention
January 22, 2021
SAINT PAUL, MN – Tuesday, Minnesota Immigrant Health Alliance Co-Founder and Our Stories. Our Health. Board Chair Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn joined Dr. Calla Brown, Co-Founder of the Minnesota Immigrant Health Alliance, and immigration attorney Kathleen Moccio in the Minnesota Reformer to highlight the failings of the healthcare available to ICE detainees.
"In review of the operations of Kandiyohi and Freeborn County jails in August and September of 2020, the ICE Office of Detention Oversight identified numerous compliance violations that place detainees at risk and violate Minnesota law. [...] They found that detention officers without medical training were completing the facility’s medical, dental and mental health screenings. They also noted that despite having phone interpreter services available, interpreters were not used during medical evaluations of detainees with limited English proficiency. They discovered cases of detainees being given medical care or even psychotropic medications without consent."
They called for the creation of an independent health oversight mechanism for those in detention:
"Counties don’t have independent medical oversight, but the ICE reports on the state of detention in Minnesota shows why the state urgently needs it to ensure the physical safety of those who are incarcerated."
And asked that incarcerated people be given timely and equitable vaccine access:
"As evidenced by recent outbreaks in Minnesota’s jails and prisons, congregate settings create prime opportunities for COVID-19 spread. As such, we see an opportunity to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in Minnesota by immediately offering vaccination to incarcerated Minnesotans."
You can read the entire piece at the Minnesota Reformer, here.
Our Stories. Our Health. is a 501(c)4 organization dedicated to changing the healthcare conversation in Minnesota through collected storytelling, online organizing, and education and advocacy programs. You can learn more by visiting http://www.ourstoriesourhealth.org.
The Minnesota Immigrant Health Alliance is a collective of health care providers and advocates in Minnesota advocating for the health of immigrants and refugees. You can learn more at http://www.MIHAMN.org.