Dawn Wooten was employed by the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia. She is now represented by Project South and Government Accountability Project. Last Monday, September 17th, Project South and Government Accountability Project sent a letter on behalf of Wooten to congress. The complaint goes to the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security. The letter outlines some of the unsafe and discriminatory medical practices. Failing to provide proper PPE, refusing to test asymptomatic detained immigrants for COVID-19, and performing hysterectomies without informed consent are some of the claims made by the Ms. Wooten.
In a press release from the Government Accountability Project, Azadeh Shahshahani said, “We have documented conditions at Irwin for many years. The treatment of immigrants at this prison has always been horrid. These new shocking revelations further highlight the extent of the egregious abuses at the facility. The fact that Black and brown immigrant women are held in an extremely vulnerable position at this prison where they have no control over their bodies and no say about what it is done to them is sickening.” Azadeh Shahshahani is the Legal and Advocacy director of Project South and serves as counsel for Ms. Wooten.
MSNBC interviewed Ms. Wooten and said, “I had several detained women on numerous occasions that would come to me and say, ‘Ms. Wooten, I had a hysterectomy. Why?’ I had no answers as to why they had those procedures.”
The doctor has been identified as Dr. Mahendra Amin, according to NBC news. This is not the first time there have been complaints made against him. NBC reports that in 2015, Amin was being investigated for making false claims to Medicare and Medicaid. As a result, he and others involved paid $250,000 in a civil settlement.
The reports are still unclear on the number of women who suffered from forced hysterectomies and length of time this has been going on. The issue is still under investigation. There is still time to help. Below are ways to help.
Amplify the voices of immigrants by posting on social media.
Follow and donate to organizations such as Project South and Government Accountability Project
Call your representatives to investigate ICE and the allegations against them via email, phone or social media.