Latino Man Held At ICE Detention Center Appears To Have Committed Suicide After Being In Isolation For 19 Days
A Panamanian 27-year-old who was being held at a Georgia detention center, awaiting possible deportation, was found dead of an apparent suicide on Monday.
CNN reports that guards found Jean Jimenez-Joseph lifeless with a sheet around his neck inside his cell at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement saying that his family has been notified of his death.
At the time of his death, Jimenez-Joseph had been held in isolation for 19 days, according to CNN. According to Mother Jones, a United Nations expert on torture has warned about keeping prisoners in solitary confinement for more than 15 days, as extended isolation can cause damage to a prisoner’s mental health.
Officials had placed Jimenez-Joseph in isolation because he “jumped over a rail from the second floor” onto the first floor at the detention center on April 27. They also report that state officials will investigate the death.
On Tuesday, when the death of Jimenez-Joseph was announced, ICE reported that the man was the “seventh individual to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2017” and the first to die at the Stewart Detention Center in more than eight years. But just two days later, another man being detained at different detention center in Atlanta also died.
ICE disclosed that Atulkumar Babubhai Patel, 58, had been detained at the Atlanta City Detention Center for just two days when he was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. ICE states that cause of death has been ruled to be complications from congestive heart failure, and it was also reported that during the Indian national’s initial medical screening, Patel had high blood pressure and diabetes. ICE states Patel was held in the detention center after arriving in Atlanta from Ecuador because he did not have the proper immigration forms. He is now the eighth person to die in ICE custody.