ICE detention center in Orange makes fixes after scathing report

ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) -- The Orange County Sheriff's Department said corrections have been made at the Theo Lacy Jail in Orange after a recent government report stated there were serious concerns over conditions at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility.

In response to the report issued by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, deputies took Eyewitness News on a tour of the jail - which currently holds about 3,200 inmates, including 524 ICE detainees - to show were improvements had been made.

The sheriff's department also said some of the information in the report was not accurate, pointing to a statement that said the lunch meat appeared to be "slimy and foul smelling."

"That is not true," said Rod Debolt, the food services manager for the sheriff's department. "All of our meat products are procured via the county's procurement system."

Jail staff said they corrected an issue where some meat had been uncovered and undated. ICE said inspections were normal and that they anticipate findings.

"The key though is that if deficiencies are identified that we collaborate with the contractor and we ensure the deficiencies are quickly rectified," said Virginia Kice, a spokesperson for ICE.

The report, which said the surprise visit to the facility took place in November, also noted concerns about mingling between detainees who shouldn't have been put together. The sheriff's department said there are two classification systems: one for ICE detainees and one for inmates.

"At no time did we feel like the inmates were a security risk to anybody to themselves or anybody they were in the group with," Capt. Jason Park with the sheriff's department said.

Immigrant rights groups said the report confirmed their complaints about substandard conditions at the jail. The sheriff's department and ICE said all the issues listed by the report have been fixed.

"This is a healthy environment and we do our very best to create a high degree of health and safety while they're living here," Park said.
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