Thursday, February 5, 2009

House passes Deaths in Custody Reporting Act

Yesterday afternoon the House passed the Deaths in Custody Reporting Act (H.R. 738). The measure passed with a vote of 407-1.

The ease at which the bill went through the House came as a surprise to some, given the fierce objections that came out of the Senate debate last year.

Nonetheless, we should all be pleased with this vote. Very simply, the Deaths in Custody Reporting Act requires any local, state, or federal detention facility which receives federal funds--including those which house immigrant detainees--to report annually to the Department of Justice any death of a person in their custody.

This bill is especially pertinent given the recent attention immigrant detention facilities have received due to unnecessary and preventable deaths of immigrants in their custody.

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