Man Held in Solitary Confinement for 14 Months in ICE Facility Permitted to Proceed with Punitive Damages in Lawsuit


By Michael McCutcheon

SAN FRANCISCO – Carlos Murillo Vega has been permitted to proceed in court and seek punitive damages for being held in solitary confinement for more than a year in an ICE detention facility in California.

The U.S. District Court of the Southern District of California this week determined Management & Training Corporation (MTC), the owner of Imperial Regional Detention Facility (IRDF), participated in “outrageous conduct” and with “reckless disregard” towards Murillo by subjecting him to 14 consecutive months of solitary confinement.

Additionally, according to a statement issued by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, “MTC’s use of solitary confinement for people in protective custody violated ICE standards.”

Murillo was held in the IRDF, a private, for-profit corporation contracted with ICE, according to The Promise Institute for Human Rights. They also reported that the owner of the facility, MTC, “is alleged to intentionally understaff and under resource its facilities…Specifically, their use of solitary confinement violates domestic and international laws, including human rights standards by which the United States has agreed to comply.”

The Promise Institute for Human Rights reported that when Murillo was initially admitted to the facility, he reportedly listened to staff and requested solitary confinement, believing it was for his own protection.

However, upon realizing this was not true, the support group said he requested to be removed from solitary, but his repeated requests were denied, and he was held in solitary for 22 hours a day, for 14 months.

“The evidence in this case shows that MTC has been unlawfully subjecting people to solitary confinement at IRDF with impunity, in violation of the law and its contract with ICE, for years,” said Lee Ann Felder-Heim of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. “It is time for ICE to stop sponsoring this abuse and end its contract with MTC.”

The District Court appeared to agree with Felder-Heim’s statement, said Murillo’s lawyers, noting, “the Court also held that Mr. Murillo had presented ‘substantial’ evidence that MTC’s use of solitary confinement for people in protective custody violated ICE standards…the Court rejected MTC’s arguments that ICE policy permitted the blanket use of segregation for Mr. Murillo and opined that reasonable jurors could find MTC’s practices inflicted emotional harm to Mr. Murillo.”

About The Author

Michael is a senior at CSU Long Beach majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice. After graduating with a BS, Michael plans to attend grad school and receive his Masters with a thesis on interrogation techniques.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for