Date of Submission

Fall 2010

Academic Program

Sociology, Human Rights


Michael Donnelly and Roger Berkowitz

Abstract/Artist's Statement

“Contemporary Immigration Detention Practices in the United States: A Study in Sociology and Human Rights” is a study on the detention and incarceration of immigrants, with particular focus on the effects and implications of detaining refugees and asylum-seekers, in the United States. The study reports on two specific detention facilities—the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, and the T. Don Hutto Family Residential Facility (a.k.a. T. Don Hutto Residential Center) in Taylor, Texas—as sociological case-studies, primarily presented as legal briefs, to explore how contemporary detention practices relate to the legal structure and ideals established by domestic and international law, including international human rights law. Through an analysis of how current practices satisfy or miss ideal standards set by laws, declarations, policies, and other such guidelines, this study determines that current detention practices constitute a clear and detrimental case of systemic human rights violations. While a brief sociological exploration of the trends and conditions in immigration detention offers various theories which may explain—and eventually go into forming an effective remedy for—these violations, this study can only determine that more research needs to be compiled in order to reach any valid sociological conclusions.

Distribution Options

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.