Homeland Security Forbids Use of Dogs Around Detainees

A new policy by the Department of Homeland Security ends the policy of using dogs around detainees:

The U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of Homeland Security, issued a memo to its field offices last month ordering them to refrain from contracting with lockups that use dogs around detainees.

The lockups will still be able to use the dogs to sniff for drugs or other contraband, and to guard regular prisoners who are not being held on immigration charges, said bureau spokesman Russ Knocke.

Long overdue reform, with credit going to immigrants rights groups.

The Passaic County Jail in Paterson is among 81 detention centers nationwide that use dogs, and one of between seven and 10 using them to control federal immigration detainees. There are 200 to 400 such detainees at the jail, which gets $77 per day from the government for housing each inmate.Dogs are used to accompany prisoners being transferred to and from the infirmary, or to break up fights.

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