Detainees Leaving ICE Detention from the
Bell County Jail
Belton, Texas

Detainees Deported or Released
Number last 12 months 22
Out of total detained 40
 
Percent change:
from previous 12 months 175 %
from FY 2005 69 %
from FY 2000 1000 %
 
Facility ranking on detainees top 83 %

Table 1: Number leaving ICE detention
from this facility

During the most recent 12 month period for which data are available, a total of 22 detainees housed at the Bell County Jail left that facility because they were deported, were released under supervision while their cases were being decided, or left ICE detention for one of a variety of other reasons. The use of this facility for the temporary housing of federal immigration detainees was arranged through an intergovernmental service agreement (IGSA) under which payments by ICE to another governmental agency are made for housing federal detainees. Additional information about the arrangement, including whether a private company may operate the facility for the government, was not available at the time this report was posted.

Those individuals who departed from this facility because they were leaving ICE detention made up 55 percent of the 40 detainees housed at this facility during the last 12 months. This report focuses on the reasons these individuals left ICE detention. Sometimes this report speaks of these individuals as those "exiting" ICE detention, or simply as "exits." The other 45 percent remained in ICE detention but were transferred from the Bell County Jail to other facilities.

This report covers those who left ICE custody. It excludes individuals transferred to other ICE facilities. For more information on this facility, including individuals that were transferred, see additional TRAC reports in this series.

This report series is based upon analyses conducted by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University of 3.4 million government records tracking each individual who passed through an ICE detention facility during the past decade. The most recent 12 month period for which comprehensive data are available is for April 2007 through March 2008. See About the Data.

How This Facility Ranks Nationally

Rankings on the number leaving ICE detention. The Bell County Jail was one of 1,528 facilities that were used to house immigration detainees during the last decade, and one of 654 facilities nationwide that housed ICE detainees during the most recent 12 month period. Of these 654, there were 324 facilities that had at least 10 individuals who were deported or released. Excluding those facilities with fewer than 10 exits, the Bell County Jail last year ranked in the top 83 percent nationwide in the number of individuals leaving ICE detention. This means that 83 percent of the locations contributed the same or a larger numbers of exits, while 17 percent had a smaller number. See Table 1.

Deportations. Nationally, the most common reason that a detainee left ICE detention was that they were deported from the United States. During the most recent 12 month period for which comprehensive data are available, nationwide 81 percent of those leaving ICE detention were deported or "voluntarily" departed. By way of comparison, a higher percentage of detainees (100 percent) left the country from the Bell County Jail because they were formally deported, or left under the so-called "voluntary departure" procedure.

Trends in the Number of Detainees Deported or Released

Trends in the number leaving ICE detention. When deportations and other releases during the April 2007-March 2008 period were compared with those in the previous 12 months, the Bell County Jail numbers were sharply up by 175 percent. During the April 2006-March 2007 period the facility processed 8 "exits" as compared with 22 last year. As detailed in Table 1, numbers last year were also up 69 percent as compared with the number of those leaving ICE detention (13) during FY 2005. Exits last year were also up by 1,000 percent as compared with the number of exits (2) during FY 2000.

Bar chart of fymondt

Figure 1: Month-by-month number of detainees leaving this facility

Longer term exit trends. Greater detail on these long-term trends for those leaving ICE detention from the Bell County Jail are displayed in Figure 1. Here the month-by-month number of exits are graphed against the backdrop of the total detainees leaving the custody of this facility. Exits are displayed with darker shading while those transferred appear with lighter shading. As is readily apparent, considerable variation has occurred over time in both the overall numbers of detainees as well as the volume leaving ICE detention during this period.

Fiscal Year ICE Detainees
Total Exits Percent
1999 21 6 29 %
2000 13 2 15 %
2001 52 0 0 %
2002 50 1 2 %
2003 23 8 35 %
2004 127 103 81 %
2005 22 13 59 %
2006 11 4 36 %
2007 50 29 58 %
2008 (est) 0 0 -

Table 2: Number of detainees leaving
this facility over the last decade

Exit trends are also summarized by fiscal year in Table 2. Year-by-year figures for the Bell County Jail are given for the total number of detainees as compared with those leaving ICE detention from the facility. The percent of detainees that left ICE detention is also given. (As mentioned above, the remaining detainees were transferred to another ICE detention facility.) Because data for all twelve months of the most recent fiscal year are not yet available, the FY 2008 numbers (October 2007 through September 2008) are estimated based upon reporting for the first six months.

Were Detained Individuals from the Local Area?

Information on the place of arrest was not included in the available data ICE released. However, we can examine whether the Bell County Jail was the first ICE facility in which these detainees were held. According to ICE records, for all these detainees, the Bell County Jail was the first place they were sent when they were detained by ICE.

For the United States as a whole, last year the typical detainee stayed in two different ICE detention facilities before being deported or released - half stayed in 2 or fewer facilities, and half stayed in 2 or more. The average number of ICE facilities detainees moved through was 1.9. Detainees at the Bell County Jail on average had stayed at somewhat fewer (1.0) ICE facilities.

Reason Left ICE Facility Profile U.S Profile
Number Percent Percent
Deported/Removed 12 55 % 72 %
Voluntary departure 10 45 % 10 %
Bonded out 0 . 8 %
Died 0 . 0 %
Escaped 0 . 0 %
Orders of Recognizance or Supervision 0 . 5 %
Paroled 0 . 0 %
Proceedings Terminated 0 . 2 %
U.S. Marshal or Other Agency 0 . 3 %
Withdrawal 0 . 1 %
Total 22 100 % 100 %

Table 3: Reasons individuals left ICE detention during the last 12 months

Why Did Detainees Leave ICE Detention?

ICE records one of twenty-three reasons a detainee left ICE detention. As shown in Table 3, these reasons fall into ten general categories -- from leaving because one is deported or removed, to leaving because one escaped or the individual died while in custody.

Deportation. As mentioned earlier, the most common reason detainees left the Bell County Jail was that they were deported. A total of 12 individuals (55 percent) were deported or removed from the Bell County Jail during the most recent 12 month period for which data are available. (ICE data did not distinguish between deportations and removals, and the terms are used interchangeably in this report.)

Voluntary departure. Under some circumstances, detainees are allowed to take "voluntary departure." As with deportation, under voluntary departure a person must leave the country. However, unlike formal deportation where the individual is barred by law from reentering this country permanently or for a period of years, under voluntary departure the individual is not legally barred from reentry. An additional 10 detainees (45 percent) left the Bell County Jail last year as voluntary departures.

Escape and death. Nationally, there were 92 individuals who escaped ICE detention during the latest 12 month period for which data are available, and 8 individuals were recorded as having died in detention. No one was recorded by the Bell County Jail as either escaping or dying last year. Over the past decade, there was also no record of anyone who died or escaped from this facility.

As shown in Table 3, no one was recorded as leaving the Bell County Jail during the past 12 months for the following reasons: Bonded out, Orders of Recognizance or Supervision, Paroled, Proceedings Terminated, U.S. Marshal or other agency and Withdrawal. See "Reasons for Leaving ICE Detention" for a description of these categories.

Pie chart of release_grp

Figure 2: Reasons individuals left ICE detention

Comparing Release Reasons Against The National Picture

In many respects release reasons for the Bell County Jail departed from the national picture. It was the case that a lower proportion left because they were deported from this facility (55 percent) than was true for the U.S. as a whole (72 percent). A higher proportion (45 percent) left this facility as voluntary departures than was true nationally (10 percent).

In addition, differences were seen for individuals released on bond (none versus 8 percent), and detainees released on orders of recognizance or supervision (none versus 5 percent).

The facility's percentages fell within 3 percentage points of the national figures for all other categories.

Nationalities

Which nationalities predominate? Last year in the United States, individuals from Mexico comprised the largest number of those leaving ICE detention. Some 53.6 percent of all detainees recorded Mexico as their country of origin. The Bell County Jail had all detainees from Mexico among their exits. Detainees from Mexico were the only nationality group leaving detention from this facility.

Nationalities Ranked in Top 10 Left ICE Detention
Total Deported/
Voluntary
Departure
Percent
- ALL 22 22 100.0 %
1 Mexico 22 22 100.0 %

Table 4: Numbers leaving ICE detention by nationality
during the last 12 months

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