Inmate Conditions at Immigration Centers in Pinal County, AZ, Are "Inhumane," ACLU Says

"Inhumane." "Deplorable." Those are some the words being used to describe the five jails holding illegal immigrants in Pinal County.

The ACLU issued a scathing report on the conditions of the five immigration detention centers in Pinal County.

Some of the accusations deal with the living conditions for the inmates. There are also allegations some inmates weren't allowed contact with family members for years, and sometimes that led to psychological problems.

Last year FOX 10 obtained exclusive access to one of the federal detention centers cited in the report. It was a fairly brand new facility in Florence and from what we saw then, it was state of the art with large areas for activities and a large cafeteria.

In our report, some even said the immigration inmates were being treated better than most.

Of the four prisons and the jail – the one that was ranked the worst by the ACLU – is operated by Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

Among other things, the Pinal County Adult Detention Center is accused of not allowing one female inmate the opportunity to see her children for years.

"The conditions at Pinal County Jail are pretty horrific, the individuals are regularly denied access contact visits which is in-person visits with family members, relatives, their attorneys, they are regularly denied medical care, they are not allowed to see the light or go outside," says ACLU's Alessandra Soler Meetze.

"Some of the most egregious violations are at the Pinal County Jail but they also exist at the other ICE immigration centers. They have received deficient ratings from ICE's own audits in 2007, 2008 and 2009, so clearly I think ICE recognizes there is a problem."

We obtained exclusive access to this jail to see for ourselves what's going on inside.

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