Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly — TRAC Fellows
American Immigration Council
December 5, 2018

The Landscape of Immigration Detention in the United States
By Emily Ryo and Ian Peacock

TRAC Fellows analyze three major datasets in this study. The first dataset—the Detention Data—contains government records pertaining to all individuals who were detained by ICE during fiscal year 2015 (355,729 individuals, including juveniles). To be included in the Detention Data, the individual had to have been detained at some point during fiscal year 2015, but his or her detention need not have begun nor ended in fiscal year 2015. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) obtained the Detention Data from ICE under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The second dataset consists of geocoordinates that they compiled on (1) all of the detention facilities included in the Detention Data, (2) the principal cities of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), and (3) legal service providers. We merged these geocoordinates with the Detention Data to produce the Geocoded Data that allows us to examine distances between detention facilities, MSAs, and legal service providers. The third dataset contains records on 48,849 facility-related grievances submitted by detainees and community members to the Detention Reporting and Information Line. They merged these records with the Detention Data to produce the Grievance Data, which contains 47,145 grievances pertaining to 304 facilities used by ICE in fiscal year 2015 (including juvenile facilities used by ICE). Human Rights Watch obtained the Grievance Data from ICE through FOIA.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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