Orange County ending contract to hold immigration detainees

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California county says it is ending a contract to house immigration detainees for federal authorities to focus on inmates’ mental health needs.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Carrie Braun said Wednesday the agency is ending its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold roughly 900 detainees a day at the James A. Musick and Theo Lacy facilities.

Braun says deputies will be moved to other areas as the county bolsters services for inmates with mental health needs and drug addiction.

The county says the average number of inmates each day with mental health needs rose 47 percent in three years.

A message was left for ICE seeking comment.

California has barred local governments from signing new contracts for immigration detention facilities in the state.

Categories: California News