Immigration reform in the 1990s created a new class of prisoner. Non-citizens, living in the United States either legally or illegally, who committed any crime at any time, are subject to deportation. Pending a decision from the Department of Homeland Security, the immigrants are held at one of hundreds of detention centers around the country.
NPR reporter Daniel Zwerdling first heard of such facilities, and rumors of abuse inside them, from a New York immigrants’ advocate. One particularly heinous case stood out: the 2004 death of a 34-year-old Jamaican immigrant held in Louisiana for a decade-old conviction. But confronted with a stone wall from authorities, and little access to the other inmates who witnessed the death, Zwerdling struggled to gain any traction.
This week on EXPOSÉ, how Zwerdling used sources inside the prison to uncover harrowing tales of prisoner abuse on American soil.
>> Listen to Zwerdling’s original NPR series investigating the alleged abuse of two men detained by the Department of Homeland Security in two separate New Jersey prisons: “Jailed Immigrants Allege Abuse” and his moving piece using eyewitness testimony from several inmates to take listeners’ step-by-step through the events leading up to “The Death of Richard Rust” at Louisiana’s Oakdale Federal Detention Center.