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Visits from Community Service Organizations
Tuesday, July 01, 2008

ICE/ERO Performance-Based National Detention Standards 2011
5.7 Visitation - V. Expected Outcomes
M. Visits from Representatives of Community Service Organizations

The facility administrator may approve visits to one or more detainees by individuals or groups representing community service organizations, including civic, religious, cultural, therapeutic and other groups. Volunteers may provide a special religious, educational, therapeutic or recreational activity.

The facility administrator’s approval shall take into account such factors as:

        1. Safety and security considerations;
        2. Availability of detention personnel to supervise activity; and
3. Sufficient advance notification to the facility administrator

Detainees’ immediate family and other relatives, friends and associates, as detailed above under “Persons Allowed to Visit,” may not serve as volunteers.

To inform the facility administrator’s decision, facility staff (such as chaplains and recreation specialists) shall verify the organization’s bona fide interests and qualifications for this kind of service.

Groups and/or individuals from those groups must:       

1. Provide the facility with advance notification of the names, dates of birth and social security numbers or unexpired passport numbers of the group members who shall be visiting;

All volunteers, regardless of title or position, are subject to a background check that includes, but is not limited to, a criminal history check, verification of identity and occupation and verification of credentials for the type of activity involved;

2. Provide identification for individual members of the group upon arrival at the facility.

Standard “2.4 Facility Security and Control” details procedures for checking a visitor’s identity, issuing visitor passes and accounting for visitors while they are in the facility;

3. Comply with visitation rules: each approved volunteer shall receive an appropriate orientation to the facility, and shall acknowledge his/her understanding of rules and procedures by signing an agreement to comply with them, particularly in regard to permissible behavior and relationships with detainees. The orientation and signed agreement shall include at a minimum, the following functions:

a. specify lines of authority, responsibility and accountability for volunteers; and
b. prohibit volunteers from:
1) using their official positions to secure privileges for themselves or others;
2) engaging in activities that constitute a conflict of interest; and
3) accepting any gift from or engaging in personal business transactions with a detainee or a detainee’s immediate family.

All volunteers shall be held accountable for compliance with the rules and procedures.

4. Read and sign a waiver of liability that releases ICE/ERO of all responsibility in case of injury during the visit before being admitted to any secure portion of the facility or location where detainees are present.