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Text of the Humane Short Term Custody Act

This bill was introduced on December 12, 2013, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Dec 12, 2013 (Introduced).

II

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1817

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December 12 (legislative day, December 11), 2013

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

A BILL

To require the Secretary to implement standards for short-term custody of individuals held in facilities of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Humane Short Term Custody Act .

2.

Standards for short-term custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

(a)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the Department of Homeland Security, prescribe regulations establishing standards for short-term custody of individuals by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that provide for basic minimums of care at all facilities of U.S. Customs and Border Protection that hold individuals in custody, including Border Patrol stations, ports of entry, checkpoints, forward operating bases, secondary inspection areas, and short-term custody facilities.

(b)

Requirements

(1)

In general

The regulations prescribed under subsection (a) shall include standards with respect to the following:

(A)

Limits on detention space capacity.

(B)

The availability of potable water and food.

(C)

Access to bathroom facilities and hygiene items.

(D)

Sleeping arrangements for detainees held overnight.

(E)

Adequate climate control.

(F)

Access to language-appropriate forms and materials that include an explanation of the consequences of signing such forms.

(G)

Pregnant women and individuals with medical needs.

(H)

Reasonable accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ( 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. ).

(I)

Access to emergency medical care, if necessary.

(J)

Access to facilities by nongovernmental organizations.

(K)

Transferring detainees to facilities of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

(L)

Returning personal property to former detainees.

(2)

Additional standards

The Secretary of Homeland Security may prescribe such additional standards with respect to the short-term custody of individuals as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(3)

Consistency with the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003

The regulations prescribed under subsection (a) shall be fully consistent with the national standards required under section 8(c) of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 ( 42 U.S.C. 15607(c) ).

(c)

Inspections

The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security shall—

(1)

inspect the facilities described in subsection (a) not less frequently than annually; and

(2)

make the results of the inspections available to the public without the need to submit a request under section 552 of title 5, United States Code.

(d)

Certification

Not later than 18 months after the issuance of the regulations required by subsection (a), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall certify to Congress that the regulations have been fully implemented.