Roger Rayson was in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody from January 28, 2017, until his death on March 13, 2017. Through the Freedom of Information Act, POGO obtained records of internal ICE investigations that found fundamental problems in the medical care Rayson received at LaSalle Detention Facility in Jena, Louisiana. Investigators examined the circumstances leading to his death from a subdural hemorrhage, but did not reach a conclusion on whether ICE’s medical care contributed to his death.
Rayson was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma, was HIV-positive, and had type 2 diabetes and a number of other serious conditions. Rather than providing him with adequate medical care or transferring him to a facility or hospital equipped to care for him, ICE investigators found, the detention center placed Rayson in solitary confinement for nine days and did not provide him with timely or adequate access to medical care. The records POGO obtained include ICE Health Service Corps’ mortality review focusing on LaSalle’s medical care; ICE’s detainee death review, conducted by the agency’s External Reviews and Analysis Unit; and a review of the detention center’s compliance with ICE’s medical and security standards, produced by contractor Creative Corrections as part of the detainee death review. The documents also include Rayson’s death certificate, autopsy, and a number of medical records from his time at LaSalle.
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