A joint investigation withInvestigative Reporting Workshop

What’s Changed for Immigrants in Detention?


After 9/11, undocumented immigrants waiting for deportation hearings were locked up in detention centers, some of which were run by private prison companies.

Last fall’s Lost in Detention, a joint investigation by FRONTLINE and the Investigative Reporting Workshop found disturbing reports of maggot-filled food, and verbal and sexual abuse by guards at one such facility, the Willacy Detention Center in south Texas.

What happened there was so disturbing that the Department of Homeland Security launched 13 special criminal investigations.

Willacy has since been converted to a detention facility only for immigrants with criminal convictions, and the Obama administration has called for an overhaul of the detention system. But how much has changed for the rest of those in detention?

In a radio segment for NPR, correspondent Maria Hinojosa shows just how difficult reform can be, through interviews with former detainees, abuse victims, and whistleblowers.

Listen to the full report here.

blog comments powered by Disqus

In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.



Frontline Journalism Fund

Supporting Investigative Reporting

Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.

Privacy Policy   Journalistic Guidelines   PBS Privacy Policy   PBS Terms of Use   Corporate Sponsorship
FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of WGBH Educational Foundation.
Web Site Copyright ©1995-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.