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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Immigration and Naturalization Service
Intergovernmental Service Agreement
For Detention Services With
The Jefferson County Detention Center
Waurika, Oklahoma

GR-80-01-011
April 26, 2001
Office of the Inspector General


INTRODUCTION

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Audit Division, has completed an audit of the costs incurred by the Jefferson County, Oklahoma, Detention Center (detention center) to house detainees for the Department of Justice in accordance with the Intergovernmental Service Agreement (IGA), between the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the detention center. The IGA stipulates that the detention center will house detainees for the INS at a rate of $50 per jail day for long-term detainees and $38 per jail day for detainees not identified as long-term detainees. Additionally, the IGA stipulates that each long-term detainee is to be provided access to educational, vocational and rehabilitative programs. For the period January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2000, INS paid the detention center $1,691,348 for detention and transportation services.

Background

A primary mission of the INS is to apprehend or remove those aliens who enter or remain illegally in the United States and/or whose stay is not in the public interest. The INS is responsible for obtaining adequate housing, subsistence, medical care, and detention services for persons detained under the authority of the Immigration and Nationality Act, until such a time that those persons can be legally deported from the United States. In order for this mission to be accomplished successfully, the INS must actively pursue the development of IGAs with non-federal detention facilities to ensure adequate and sufficient housing of the detainee population.

In certain circumstances, individuals detained by the INS are not likely to be deported in the foreseeable future. Often these long-term detainees are from countries such as Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc., which will not accept them back from the United States. As a result, the INS initiated a program to enter into IGAs with facilities dedicated to long-term detainees. These facilities provide vocational programs for long-term detainees. According to the INS these vocational programs serve multiple purposes: (1) they keep the long-term detainees gainfully occupied, (2) they relieve tension within the facilities and lessen the proclivity for disturbances among detainees, and (3) they give the detainees the skills they need to help them succeed if released from INS custody.

One of the facilities that the INS has entered into an IGA to house long-term detainees and provide vocation training is the Jefferson County, Oklahoma, Detention Center. The INS awarded the detention center IGA No. IGSA-A/ACD-99-6051, on November 12, 1988. The IGA established a jail day rate of $50 per jail day for long-term detainees and $38 per jail day for detainees not identified as long-term detainees (during our audit period only long-term detainees were housed at the detention center). The IGA also stipulated that each long-term detainee is to be provided access to educational, vocational and rehabilitative programs. On February 9, 2001, the detention center requested that the INS increase the rate for long-term detainees to $65 per jail day, although the cost statement submitted with the request only supported a rate of $57.99 per jail day.


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