Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) Outsources Design

Created by - Claudia Rodriguez

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, detention centers are officially called “Contract Detention Facilities” (CDFs). Since much of the day-to-day operations in facilities are contracted out to private companies, this is an apt name.

Out of the “5 Zones” comprising CDFs, the only zone that ICE is in charge of designing is “Zone 1: Offices.” Offices inside a CDF are exclusive to staff/personnel use and are also the only zone that prohibits detainees. Zones 2 through 5 are contracted out to third party companies that have no affiliations with ICE. By outsourcing the design of Zones 2 through 5, ICE allocates the ethical and logistical responsibilities associated with designing detention centers to others. Each zone depicted above is encircled with rings that indicate the agency responsible for its design. Depending on the particular spaces in each zone, many of these zones may have multiple agencies designing different parts; the multiple rings around these circles attest to their complexity. A private contractor designs the “Detainee Living Zone” (arguably the most important space in a detention center). ICE administrates detention, but does not oversee the daily living experience of those detained.