Panamanian Immigrant Allegedly Dies By Suicide In ICE Custody

Jean Jiménez-Joseph, a Panamanian immigrant who had been in solitary confinement at Stewart Detention Center in Georgia for nearly three weeks, allegedly died by suicide early Wednesday morning (May 17).

Jiménez-Joseph was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement from a North Carolina jail in March after being convicted of car theft in January. He was reportedly placed in solitary confinement at Stewart for jumping off a second floor walkway, and his time was later extended for inappropriately exposing himself to a nurse.

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Stewart Detention Center features an on-site immigration court, which is widely considered one for the hardest places in the country to avoid deportation. Only two percent of detained immigrants have won their cases at Stewart since 2015. In the past, the conditions at Stewart have been cited as substandard and a hinderance to the justice process by the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic.

Jiménez-Joseph is the seventh person to die in ICE custody since October.