Immigration detention is an area of ongoing study for The Goodis Center. This report was prepared by Robert Goodis as his Senior Project in fulfillment of the requirements for his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Human Rights at Bard College. Robert submitted the report to his faculty board in November 2010 after having compiled the research for this report for almost a year before completion. The report concludes that further research is necessary to reach any viable policy recommendations, and it is based on these findings that The Goodis Center has continued researching immigration detention as one of our primary areas of focus.
“Contemporary Immigration Detention Practices in the United States: A Study in Sociology and Human Rights” is a study on the detention and incarceration of immigrants, with particular focus on the effects and implications of detaining refugees and asylum-seekers, in the United States. The study reports on two specific detention facilities—the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, and the T. Don Hutto Family Residential Facility (a.k.a. T. Don Hutto Residential Center) in Taylor, Texas—as sociological case-studies, primarily presented as legal briefs, to explore how contemporary detention practices relate to the legal structure and ideals established by domestic and international law, including international human rights law. Through an analysis of how current practices satisfy or miss ideal standards set by laws, declarations, policies, and other such guidelines, this study determines that current detention practices constitute a clear and detrimental case of systemic human rights violations. While a brief sociological exploration of the trends and conditions in immigration detention offers various theories which may explain—and eventually go into forming an effective remedy for—these violations, this study can only determine that more research needs to be compiled in order to reach any valid sociological conclusions.