Adelanto Detention Center

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Adelanto Detention Facility
Location10400 Rancho Rd, Adelanto, California 92301
StatusOpen (East: August 2011, West: July 2012)
Security classMixed Security
Capacityapprox. 2000
Managed byGEO Group
Location of Adelanto in San Bernardino County, and San Bernardino County in California

Adelanto Detention Facility is a privately operated immigration detention center[1] in Adelanto, San Bernardino County, California. Owned and operated by the GEO Group, it consists of two separate facilities: East, which was an existing prison purchased in June 2010 from the City of Adelanto with a capacity of about 600 inmates, and the newly built West expansion completed in August 2012 with another 700 beds.[2] After an additional expansion in 2015, the facility's capacity houses up to 1,940 immigrant detainees of all classification levels, with the average stay of 30 days.[3][4][5]


From 1991 Adelanto was a state prison for adult male inmates. The GEO Group purchased the facility in 2010 and in May 2011, contracted with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to house federal immigration detainees.[6][7] Based on the agreement, the center must comply with ICE’s 2011 Performance-Based National Detention Standards, which establish requirements for environmental health and safety, detainee care, activities, and grievance system.[4] The GEO Group also receives a fee of up to about $112 per day per detainee from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with the city of Adelanto serving as a go-between.[8] This used a complicated subcontracting model so ICE and Adelanto didn't need to award the contract for the center’s operations using competitive bidding as required under Federal regulations.[9]

In 2016, the city of Adelanto extended the company’s contract until 2021.[10]


The prison, ICE's newest and largest in California,[11] was the scene of small immigration protests in November 2013.[12][13]

Since its opening as an ICE detention center in 2011, Adelanto Detention Facility has faced accusations of insufficient medical care and poor conditions. Because of the poor conditions, in July 2015, 29 members of Congress sent a letter to ICE and federal inspectors requesting an investigation addressing their concerns. Later that year in November, 400 detainees went on a hunger strike, to demand better medical and dental care.[10]

In May 2018, government inspectors from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made a surprise visit to the detention center where 307 contract guards oversaw 1,659 immigrant detainees housed in different facilities around the center. Inspectors found multiple violations of ICE detention standards which posed significant health and safety risks for detainees and restricted detainees rights. The violations found were: nooses in detainee cells, inappropriate segregation including misuse of solitary confinement, improperly handcuffed and shackled, and detainees with limited English lacked communication assistance; and untimely and inadequate detainee medical care.[7][4]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of six detainees with medical conditions due to the inadequate sanitation and that beds placed too close together. These conditions provided an “ideal incubation” opportunity for coronavirus.[14]

Hernandez v. Sessions[edit]

Hernandez v. Sessions is a class action lawsuit filed in April 2016 by the ACLU and pro bono lawyers from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Lead plaintiffs on the case were non-citizens who were detained at Adelanto Detention Facility due to their inability to afford the bond set by immigration officials. In October 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s order granting a classwide preliminary injunction in favor the plaintiffs. The Hernandez decision is the first court case to impose due process requirements in the immigration context and requires ICE officers and immigration judges to consider a person's financial ability to post bond and suitability for non-monetary alternative conditions of supervision when considering the conditions of release.[15][16]


  1. ^ "Second ICE Detainee at Adelanto Detention Center Dies in as Many Weeks". KTLA. 14 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Adelanto Detention Facility - The GEO Group Inc". 2011-05-27. Archived from the original on 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  3. ^ "Inside the Adelanto detention facility: Troubled history, vows for reform". 11 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "DHS OIG HIGHLIGHTS: Management Alert – Issues Requiring Action at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in Adelanto, California" (PDF). September 27, 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  5. ^ "Office of Detention Oversight Compliance Inspection" (PDF). September 18–20, 2012. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  6. ^ "Adelanto Detention Facility". Archived from the original on March 3, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Shoichet, Catherine E. (October 3, 2018). "Inspectors found nooses hanging in cells at an ICE detention facility". CNN. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  8. ^ Esquivel, Paloma (August 8, 2017). "'We don't feel OK here': Detainee deaths, suicide attempts and hunger strikes plague California immigration facility". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  9. ^ BondGraham, Darwin (2019-09-12). "California bans private prisons – including Ice detention centers". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  10. ^ a b "In 3 months, 3 immigrants have died at this private detention center". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  11. ^ "An Immigrant's Dream, Detained". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Protesters decry 'unjust' treatment at Adelanto detention facility". 2013-11-25. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  13. ^ "ADELANTO: Protest at immigration detention center". Archived from the original on March 3, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  14. ^ "Coronavirus lawsuit: Conditions for immigrant detainees in Adelanto 'ideal' for disease". Orange County Register. 2020-03-31. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  15. ^ April 30, Rich Acello |; AM, 2018 at 02:00. "Fighting for Bond Hearings for Detainees". National Law Journal. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  16. ^ "Practice Advisory: Bond Hearing and Ability-to-Pay Determinations". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 2018-12-14.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°33′37″N 117°26′14″W / 34.560251°N 117.437228°W / 34.560251; -117.437228