Tom Barry shares the story of immigrants detained at the Reeves County Detention Center on the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy website here. He writes that the “greatest fear of inmates at the Reeves County Detention Center is getting sick and being consigned to … what they call “el hoyo” (the hole). It’s the hole not because it’s so dark or dirty, but rather because it’s where there is no relief from the walls, loneliness, emptiness, and yourself.”
In modern prisons and detention centers, (Secure Housing Units) are the modern equivalent of the old “solitary confinement” — intended as both punishment for disciplinary infractions, and as a deterrence to prevent unruly behavior. But at the (Reeves County Detention Center) and many others throughout the country, SHUs are often used simply to better manage prison populations — to isolate and punish problem inmates whether they break the rules or not.
At the RCDC, which since 1985 has expanded from a 300-bed prison to one that holds up to 3,700 inmates, the SHU is systemically and routinely used to house severely ill inmates. That’s because there is no infirmary at RCDC.