Skip navigation

Accreditation Report - Florence Service Processing Center, Florence, AZ, 2003

Download original document:
Brief thumbnail
This text is machine-read, and may contain errors. Check the original document to verify accuracy.
Department of Homeland Security
Florence Service Processing Center
Florence, Arizona
March 29-31, 2003

Correctional Consultant
4409 St. Thomas Drive
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120


Correctional Consultant
3326 Upton Avenue North
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55412

Correctional Consultant
2047 Rolling Meadows
Columbus, Ohio 43228


The audit of the Florence Processing Center was conducted on March 29-31, 2003, by the
following team: Chairperson,
, Member; and b6


Facility Demographics
Rated Capacity: 322
Actual Population: 318
Average Daily Population for the last 12 months: 304
Average Length of Stay: 14 days for Mexican Nationals, 41 days for other than Mexican
Security/Custody Level: Minimum security facility, detainees are classified into three
Age Range of Detainees: 18 to 71
Gender: Male
Full-Time Staff: 368
1 Officer in Charge
1 Assistant Officer in Charge
32 Administrative Supports
2 Programs (Recreation Specialists)
223 Contract Security Officers
63 Ice Immigration Enforcement Agents
2 Immigration Judges
3 Trial Attorneys
11 Maintenance
10 ICE Deportation Officers (case managers)
21 United States Public Health Service Staff (to include onsite doctor, dentist,
psychologist, five Registered Nurses, four Licensed Practical Nurses, one pharmacist, and
various other support personnel.
Officers, Security, 223 Contract Security Officers and 63 Immigration Enforcement


Facility Description
Located 60 miles southeast of Phoenix, Arizona in the town of Florence, the facility
provides primary detention support to Yuma and Tucson Border Patrol Sectors and the
Phoenix Field Office.


In 1942, the original site was a Prisoner of War Camp, which held 13,000 Axis Prisoner’s
of War. In 1963, the site was acquired by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and converted to
a minimum security facility. In 1983, it was acquired by the Immigration and
Naturalization Service. Since that date, the facility has had numerous renovations. In
March 2002, the facility was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security,
Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The facility is a detention center for those being detained for violations of immigration
status and laws. The purpose of the facility is to provide secure detention of aliens who
are likely to abscond pending completion of their deportation/removal cases or pending
release. Due to the appeal process available to detained aliens, detention for some
individuals can range from days to several months. The average length of stay in the
Processing Center is 14 days for Mexicans and 41days for other than Mexicans (OTM).

Pre-Audit Meeting
The team met on March 28, 2004, at Gold Canyon, Arizona, to discuss the information
provided by the Association staff and the officials from Florence Processing Center.
The chairperson divided standards into the following groups:
Standards #3-ALDF-2A-01 to 3-ALDF-2F-03
Standards #3-ALDF-2G-01 to 3-ALDF-4D-13
Standards #3-ALDF-4E-01 to 3-ALDF-5F-10



, Member

The Audit Process

The team was escorted to the facility by



Accreditation Team

Entrance Interview
The audit team proceeded to the office of
, Officer-In-Charge. The
team expressed the appreciation of the Association for the opportunity to be
involved with Florence Processing Center in the accreditation process.
, Accreditation Manager escorted the team to the conference room
where the formal entry meeting was held.

The following persons were in attendance:
Officer in Charge


Assistant Officer in Charge
, Health Services Administrator
, HQ / Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Accreditation Manager
Accreditation Team Member
, Chief Immigration Enforcement Agent
Detention Operations Supervisor
act Security Project Manager
, Contract Security Supervisor
, Deportation Officer Supervisor
, Deportation Officer Supervisor
Health and Safety/Food Service Administrator
, Food Service Administrator
, Maintenance Supervisor
, Electronics Technician
, Chaplain
, Support Services Supervisor

It was explained that the goal of the visiting team was to be as helpful and nonintrusive as possible during the conduct of the audit. The chairperson emphasized
the goals of accreditation toward the efficiency and effectiveness of correctional
systems throughout the United States. The audit schedule was also discussed at
this time.

Facility Tour
The team toured the entire facility from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The following
persons accompanied the team on the tour and responded to the team's questions
concerning facility operations:


Officer in Charge
, Assistant Officer in Charge
Chief Immigration Enforcement Agent
Contract Manager (Private Security)
Accreditation Manager
Accreditation Team Member
Accreditation Team Member

Conditions of Confinement/Quality of Life
During the tour, the team evaluated the conditions of confinement at the facility.
The following narrative description of the relevant programmatic services and
functional areas summarizes the findings regarding the quality of life.


The facility is surrounded by a double chain-link fence with razor wire at the top.
The perimeter is well-lighted and monitored by the security surveillance control
center through the use of video cameras. A security check of the perimeter is
conducted each evening to ensure that the fence is intact and that the cameras and
alarms are functioning properly. Additional checks are conducted whenever an
alarm is activated. The perimeter is also monitored by a motion sensor security
system within the perimeter fence.
The security surveillance control center also monitors activities via video cameras
throughout housing units, food service, recreation yard, and other key locations
throughout the facility.
Security keys are controlled through a computerized system called “The Key

(b)(2)High, (b)(7)e

Environmental Conditions
During the tour, the team found that noise levels throughout the facility, including
those in the detainee housing areas, were extremely low. Temperature ranges in
the housing units were well-within comfort zones. Lighting conditions in the
cells and other housing areas were above standards.
The landscape surrounding the exterior of the facility was well-manicured and the
area between the perimeter fences was clear of debris. The team noted that the
facility’s common areas, corridors and all housing areas were found to be clean
and well-maintained. The dormitories were without clutter. The facility also
provides for the storage and inventory of the chemicals utilized for the sanitation
of the facility. Cleaning equipment and chemicals are inventoried at the
beginning of each shift and are provided to detainees during all three shifts. The
team felt the overall maintenance and sanitation of the facility to be excellent.
Fire Safety
There are fire alarm pull stations in all areas of the facility and a sprinkler system
covers all areas. The installation of state of the art fire alarm and automatic
detection system was completed in January 2004.
Fire extinguishers, lighted exit signs and evacuation route maps were observed
throughout the facility. All required weekly, monthly and annual inspections are
being conducted by trained staff.


Food Service
The kitchen is more than adequate with a high level of organization and excellent
tool control. Temperature ranges were found to be well-within the appropriate
All detainees eat in one central dining room and are allotted sufficient time to
consume their meals. On March 29, the team ate lunch in the dining hall. The
food was nutritious, wholesome, and very good. There is more than an adequate
number of contract security staff and Immigration Agents monitoring detainees in
the dining hall. The team felt the entire food service operation was excellent.
Medical Care
Medical care is provided 24-hours a day, seven days a week through the
utilization of medical staff from the United States Public Health Service, Division
of Immigration Health Services. Sick call is held Monday through Friday. A
physician is on site 40 hours each week. At other times, detainees may request
medical service by submitting a sick-call slip, or by making a verbal request to
any officer. There is no charge for health care. The facility also maintains a fulltime dentist and mental health care provider on site.
Outdoor recreation is provided to the detainees housed in the facility through two
recreation areas. One is used for the general population and the other for those
detainees in special housing. Each area exceeds required space requirements, and
has covered portions. Detainees are provided a minimum of one hour of outdoor
recreation each day. The team felt the main recreation yard to be excellent and
felt the recreation time could be expanded into the early evening hours; thus,
alleviating detainee idleness.
Religious Programming
The facility has a full-time volunteer chaplain provided by the Jesuit Refugee
Service. Catholic, Islamic, and Protestant services are provided to the general
population each week. The team felt with the quality of the new chaplain,
religious programming will become a dynamic program. The team recommended
that this could occur quicker with the use of additional volunteers.
Detainee Work Programs
Detainees are paid a stipend of one dollar per day for their participation in the
following programs:
Food Service Department

50 detainees


General Housekeeping
Facility Grounds Maintenance
Vehicle Cleaning/Detailing
Misc. Workers

70 detainees
12 detainees
6 detainees
10 detainees
6 detainees

Detainee Programs
The following programs are offered at the facility:
Beyond Anger
Values and Personal Responsibility
Managing Money
Refusal Skills
Looking for Work
Making Decisions
9-5 beats 10-Life
Spanish Substance Abuse Program
OK Ex-inmate now that you have a job, keep it
Tough Questions and Straight Answers
The facility permits contact visits between the detainees and visitors. There is no
maximum number of visits and visitors must be on the detainee’s approved visitor
list. Depending on the available space, a detainee may receive several visits in
one day. Additionally, if a detainee has family visiting from out of state, then
additional visits are granted. Normal visiting days are Saturday, Sunday, and
federal holidays.
Library Services
During daily recreation, books are available in the recreation yard for detainees to
check out. A book cart is also delivered twice weekly to the segregation units.
The facility maintains contact with local libraries and receives donations from
various community resources.
The law library is available from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. each day. Detainees can
request access to use the law library through their housing unit officer.
The laundry facility has an adequate number of washers and dryers to service the
entire population. Chemical accountability was good. The facility maintains a
sufficient amount of stock to service 100 percent of the population. Detainees
employed in the laundry receive adequate instruction on the safe operation of the


Detainees utilize vending machines for their commissary.
Team Observations
The team felt the overall maintenance, sanitation, and organization of the facility
to be excellent. Most staff functions in a professional, courteous manner and
exhibit a good work ethic. Security staff is knowledgeable of their posts and
function with a high emphasis on the overall security aspect of the facility. There
seems to be an excellent working relationship between AKAL security staff and
ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) staff.
Key control and tool control are outstanding. Food service functions at a high
level of efficiency sanitation and product quality. There were very few
complaints from the detainees concerning food service. The amount and quality
of training provided staff is progressing to a high level. Medical treatment is very
good and there seems to be a true concern for the treatment of detainees. The
TEIE psychiatry program is outstanding. The entire facility seemed to function
with a team effort. Quality of life for both staff and detainees is very good. The
appearance of the facility, both inside and outside is excellent. Control of
flammables, toxic, and caustic inventories is excellent. Maintenance, warehouse,
mail room and the administration area are doing a yeoman’s job. The overall
cooperation among all departments is phenomenal.
Issues of concern:
Look at developing more programs for the detainees. Take into consideration the
short stay of the detainees when looking at this. The volunteer program needs to
be expanded in developing more programs. Recreation could very easily be
expanded into the early evening to help alleviate detainee idleness. There seems
to be somewhat of a telephone problem for the detainees, a little more education
of the use of the telephone would help with this problem. The mini-control
centers in each of the living pods need a better way of communicating with staff
and detainees in the detainee living areas. This is almost non-existent at this time.
The training officer position should be filled as soon as possible. The policies and
procedures need to be looked at and a continued streamlining of them needs to

Examination of Records
Following the facility tour, the team proceeded to the conference room to review the
accreditation files and evaluate compliance levels of the policies and procedures. The
facility has no notices of non-compliance with local, state, or federal laws or regulations.



Over the last three years, the facility had no consent decrees, class action lawsuits
or adverse judgments.


Significant Incidents/Outcome Measures
From March 2003, through February 2004, there have been no major
disturbances, hunger strikes, hostage situations, work stoppages, or fires. During
the same period:
Assault – detainee on detainee, without weapon: 21
Assault – detainee on staff, without weapon: 12
Number of forced cell moves: 13
Number of times chemical agent used: 1
4 point restraints: 1
Offender medical referrals as a result of injuries sustained: 24
There were no major injuries as a result of assaults, detainee on detainee, or
detainee on staff. The section asking for detainee medical referrals as a result of
injuries sustained are a list of all referrals as required by policy that anytime there
has been any kind of assault, they are referred to health services.


Departmental Visits
Team members revisited the following departments to review conditions relating
to departmental policy and operations:
Department Visited

Person(s) Contacted

Asst. Hospital Admin.

, PA
, PA
, RN Nurse Manager
Dr. b6 , Dentist
, Dental Assistant
, Psychologist
, Pharmacist
Pharmacy Technician




Administrative Assistant
Food Service



Detention, Chief
Detention Officer
Detention Officer
Immig Enforce. Agent
Immig Enforcement Agent
Immig Enforcement Agent
Immig Enforcement Agent
ImmigEnforcement Agent
Immig Enforcement Agent
Immig Enforcement Agent
Immigration Enforc Agent
Contract Security Off
Contract Security Off
Contract Security Off
Contract Security Off
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer
Contract Security Officer


b6, b7c


, Admin. Assistant

Day Shift


The team was present at the facility during the day shift from 8:00 a.m.
until 4:00 p.m. The lunch meal, detainee work, living units, and detainees
being processed in were observed.

Evening Shift
The team was present at the facility during the evening shift from 9:30
p.m. until 11:45 p.m. The team observed the evening briefing, contact
was made with staff, and the shift change was observed.


Night Shift
The team was present at the facility during the night shift from 6:45 a.m.
to 8:00 a.m. Contact was made with staff. The living units, control center,
medical, and the shift change, were observed.


During the course of the audit, team members met with both staff and detainees to verify
observations and/or to clarify questions concerning facility operations.

Detainee Interviews
The team interviewed 75 detainees. The overall morale of the detainee population
was very good. There were no prior requests to meet with the audit team so the
detainees were interviewed at random. They stated that most staff treat them in a
professional manner and feel the detention center to be a safe place. The team felt
the overall pulse of the detainee population to be very good.
Issue of concern:
Issues of concern expressed by the detainee population were mainly issues
concerning their cases. What would happen to them? When would their case be
heard? They would like more programs and more recreation time. They
expressed concern about the telephones and the lack of responsiveness from the
deportation officers. They would like larger portions in food service and rice
offered more frequently. They would also like a quicker response to see medical.


Staff Interviews
There were numerous staff interviewed. The following summarizes their
comments and concerns. Staff morale was very good to excellent. All staff
interviewed was well-trained and knowledgeable of their jobs. The majority of
staff like their jobs and think the facility is a good place to work. They stated that
the accreditation process had raised the level of sanitation and overall made for a


much more professional operation. All were very supportive of the top
administration and supervisory staff. Supervisory staff were very supportive of
the line staff and impressed with the team work and work ethic of most staff.
Staff commented that they liked the additional training they were receiving. They
all felt the facility to be a safe place to work. The professionalism demonstrated
by both groups was indicative of a very well run detention facility.
Issues of concern:
Issues of concern expressed by staff were that they would like to see an increase
of staff and some stated that they did not like the amount of overtime they had to

Exit Discussion
The exit interview was held at 11:30 a.m. in the conference room with the officer in
charge and 25 staff in attendance.
The following person were also in attendance:

Headquarters, Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The chairperson explained the procedures that would follow the audit. The team
discussed the compliance levels of the mandatory and non-mandatory standards and
reviewed their individual findings with the group.
The chairperson expressed appreciation for the cooperation of everyone concerned and
congratulated the facility team for the progress made and encouraged them to continue to
strive toward even further professionalism within the correctional field.