© 2022 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Glades County detention center for immigrants accused of deleting video records

The Glades County Detention Center, which leases out space to ICE, is operated by the Glades County Sheriff’s Office.

A South Florida detention center that houses immigrants in federal custody has been accused of deleting surveillance footage of its facilities, in violation of federal record-keeping regulations, according to a complaint two national watchdog organizations made to top Biden administration officials.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington claimed in a Jan. 24 letter sent to federal authorities that the Glades County Detention Center keeps video records only for three months instead of the three years it is required to do. The local jail in Moore Haven, near Lake Okeechobee, holds migrant detainees as part of a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The groups said the deleted footage could have “key evidence” needed to “vindicate the rights of immigrants,” and that ICE has known about the situation at Glades for at least a year. They also say that Glades’ video storage practices point to a systemic issue within the federal agency, citing a DHS Inspector General report published in October that found ICE did not “always” guarantee records retention compliance at detention facilities, including instances of files destroyed before the minimum time had passed.

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.