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The growing human rights crisis in immigration detention facilities across the country includes more and more people with serious medical needs living in deplorable conditions in a variety of facilities, including county jails that contract with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. In custody care is delayed or outright denied, the government fails to provide care for chronic and acute conditions, and people with serious mental health conditions are denied vital discharge planning. The result is disastrous health consequences for people confined to immigration detention, even death. Yet despite the constitutional right to adequate health care, very few cases are brought.  

Mental health discharge planning, including an interim supply of medication and a plan to receive care once released, is an essential component of adequate health care -- and when denied can lead to decompensation and hospitalization. This is what happened to our clients, who were “discharged and dumped.” We sued the County for its deliberate indifference to our clients’ serious medical needs, and the Second Circuit handed down a landmark decision in a “case of first impression” Charles, et al., v. Orange County, et al. that found government officials can be held accountable on constitutional grounds for failing to provide mental health discharge planning for people in immigration detention. 

Please join Laura F. Redman, Director of the Health Justice Program at the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, to learn more about: 

  • Litigation strategies to address inadequate healthcare in immigration detention;
  • Strategies to assert a claim of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in civil detention; and 
  • Recent appellate law related to failure to provide mental health discharge planning in immigration detention.

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