Thursday, February 9th, 2017

DOJ and DHS Announce Safeguards for Unrepresented Immigration Detainees with Serious Mental Disorders or Conditions

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"The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will issue today a new nationwide policy for unrepresented immigration detainees with serious mental disorders or conditions that may render them mentally incompetent to represent themselves in immigration proceedings.

The policy entails implementation of new procedural protections, including: conducting screening for serious mental disorders or conditions when individuals held for removal proceedings enter a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Health Service Corps (IHSC)-staffed immigration detention facility; working with non-IHSC-staffed immigration detention facilities to identify detainees with serious mental disorders or conditions in those facilities; the availability of competency hearings and independent psychiatric or psychological examinations; procedures that will make available qualified representatives to detainees who are deemed mentally incompetent to represent themselves