Correcting the Record: What Reuters Chose to Ignore in Its Reporting
Reuters published a story on January 18th that grossly ignored and omitted information provided in the reporting process that would have resulted in a more accurate and fact-based story. Contrary to the narrative depicted in the article, those staying at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center are provided a humane environment, with access to three free meals a day, also often eaten by facility staff, that account for a diverse range of dietary needs including Gluten Free, Kosher, pre-dialysis, and soy and nut allergies. Detailed menus, which are approved by registered dieticians and by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were provided on-the-record to Reuters.
Additionally, hygiene products are provided free of charge to all detainees, and they are available and accessible upon request. This includes bar soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, lotion, combs, hair ties, toilet paper and feminine products. Furthermore, brand name products are available for purchase at the Center’s commissary and include the option to purchase toothpaste for $1.50 in addition to the free toothpaste that is provided on demand.
Additionally, in no way does GEO profit from the Commissary operations, which are provided and operated by a third-party vendor. Any minimal commission from each commissary sale almost entirely goes into a Welfare Fund, which is used for recreational equipment for detainees with a small portion used to cover costs only.
These details -access to three meals a day, free hygiene products, and clarity on Commissary operations- are fundamental to any story that alleges individuals are forced into a strictly voluntary, federally-mandated work program in order to have access to food and basic hygiene needs, such as soap, purchased through Commissary. Furthermore, the undisputable fact that GEO receives no profit from Commissary operations undermines the false suggestion that forcing Commissary purchases somehow cycles money back to the company.
It is unfortunately that Reuters chose to disregard these facts in its reporting. We look forward to working with reporters as they continue to cover these issues, and would be happy to share the materials that were provided to and ignored by Reuters.