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ICE Fact Sheet: Alternatives to Detention for ICE Detainees

Published: Nov 6, 2009 By: ICE

Alternatives to Detention for ICE Detainees

As a result of a congressional mandate, the former Immigration and Naturalization service created the Alternatives to Detention Program in FY2002.

As the name implies, Alternatives to Detention, or ATD, provides an appropriate level of supervision during removal proceedings to ensure compliance with a removal order for aliens whose detention is not required by statute, who present a low risk of flight, and who pose no danger to the community. These aliens would otherwise be housed in a detention facility at ICE expense.

Currently, ICE manages three ATD supervision /monitoring programs:

  • The first ATD program is the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program, or ISAP, which began in 2004. ISAP contractors monitor participating aliens using the following methods: telephonic reporting (TR), radio frequency (RF), global positioning system (GPS), and unannounced home visits. ISAP can accommodate 6,000 aliens daily. ISAP has served approximately 13,000 participants. Approximately 13% of ISAPís participating aliens failed to complete the program, including 9.5% who absconded.
  • The second program, Enhanced Supervision/Reporting (ESR), started in December 2007.  ESR is also a contractor-operated program that uses the same monitoring methods as ISAP: TR, RF, GPS, and unannounced home visits. ESR can accommodate 7,000 aliens per day, and has served more than 14,000 since it was started. Approximately 4% of ESRís participating aliens failed to complete the program, including 1.5% who absconded.
  • The third ATD program, Electronic Monitoring (EM), is operated by ICE, and also began in December 2007. EM is available to aliens residing in locations not covered by the ISAP or ESR contracts. EM monitors aliens using TR, RF, and GPS technologies. Currently, there are approximately 5,000 individuals participating; and approximately 12,000 aliens have participated since the EM program started. Approximately 7% of EMís participating aliens failed to complete the program, including 5% who absconded.
  • On average, aliens remain in one of the three programs for about 10 months.

ICE is actively reviewing its ATD programs with an eye toward enhancing program integrity and availability. FY10 program enhancements already underway include:

  • Developing and implementing a more refined risk assessment classification tool to ensure all eligible candidates are placed in ATD and the appropriate level of supervision is administered.
  • Updating training modules and delivering training to all officers and staff managing the ATD Program.
  • Updating and reviewing ATD policy and procedures.
  • Collaborating with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to implement an initiative by January 2010 to reduce the length of time spent in the ATD program.
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