Center files brief on traumatizing effects of long-term detention on children

The Center’s Social Justice Lawyering Clinic, together with the Villanova Farmworker Clinic, has filed an amicus brief in support of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to revoke the license of the Berks County Family Detention Center.  That decision has been appealed by Berks County, which the federal government pays to confine immigrant families at the Center. For more information about the Center, see our publications page.

Our brief was filed on behalf of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, plus a number of physicians, psychologists, social workers, and nurses. Many of these individuals have visited the facility and and found that it poses a severe and unjustified risk to children’s health, mental health, safety and well-being. The brief documents abuses at the Center and argues that its operation violates Pennsylvania law. In a similar case, a Texas court recently found that family detention facilities there violated the state’s human services law.

Human Rights First and the Shut Down Berks Coalition also provided crucial assistance for the Center’s brief.