Man who died in WA detention center was held in solitary for years: report

A man who died while at an immigrant detention center in Tacoma was held in solitary confinement for years, according to the University of Washington's Center for Human Rights (UWCHR).

According to the report, 61-year-old Charles Leo Daniel served the second-longest stretch in solitary confinement of any person in ICE custody since 2018, despite having a significant mental illness.

Daniel, a citizen from Trinidad and Tobago, spent a total of 1244 days in solitary confinement between April 2020 and September 2023, divided into two stints.

Tacoma Police originally indicated that the cause of Daniel's death was unknown, but it could remain unknown as the investigation into his death was handed over to ICE.

UWCHR says of the ten longest placements in ICE solitary confinement between 2018 and 2023, five were at Tacoma's Northwest Detention Center. Daniel's records showed he was held in solitary for virtually the entirety of his four years at the detention center.

The report claims ICE's own data shows that the Northwest Detention Center detains people longer, and puts them in solitary confinement more than any other dedicated ICE facility in the nation.


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The UWCHR report highlights ICE's lackluster reporting policy, citing how the Department of Homeland Security could only internally track 11,893 segregation placements, whereas there were actually 44,556 segregation placements at that time.

Daniel also had a mental illness, according to UWCHR. Because immigrants are notably held longer in Tacoma's ICE Processing Center, the report suggests the facility uses solitary confinement as a means to manage mental illness, rather than a last resort.

The report also focuses on the lack of records regarding Daniel's incarceration, demanding that the results of the investigation into Daniel's death be made public in hopes of preventing future deaths in ICE custody.