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Ricardo Arduengo / AP

Health care in immigrant prisons leads to suffering and death, according to a new Human Rights Watch report that includes analysis from independent medical experts. The report highlights several medical cases that have been mishandled in the immigrant jail system.

The findings: Dangerous patterns of over-reliance on unqualified medical staff, unreasonable delays or denials of care, subpar mental health care, and bad record-keeping, in public and private prisons both. This all contributed to seven deaths in detention out of a total of 18 in-custody deaths.

Compare this: The HRW report claims Immigrations and Customs Enforcement "has been receiving reports of such substandard medical care for years but has failed to take meaningful action." ICE tells Axios it is reviewing the report to see if changes should be made based on the report's recommendations.

The Trump effect: Trump wants to ramp up immigrant detention, which will likely put pressure on the capacity of jails to offer adequate healthcare — which already needs an injection of accountability and care, according to HRW. ICE spokesperson Jennifer Elzea tells Axios ICE is reviewing capacity expansion models for the expected influx of immigrant detainees. She would not reveal what those models include.

  • Exacerbating that: Private prisons, and Trump's support for them — over two-thirds of immigrant detainees are held in prisons run by private companies, which the DOJ found have more safety and security problems per capita than their counterparts.
  • According to Detention Watch Network: "Throughout the system, we see evidence that these companies seek to maximize their profits by cutting costs at the expense of people's health, safety, and wellbeing."
  • Note: Although a DHS advisory board recommended a phaseout of using private prisons, the DHS did not heed its suggestion. (And although the DOJ decided to phaseout private prisons, Trump reversed that move.)
  • Two of the largest private prison companies, CivicCore/CCA and The GeoGroup Inc., did not respond immediately to followup questions about potential pressures on healthcare in their jails as more immigrants are detained under Trump.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
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  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.