The Tacoma City Council has voted to temporarily ban new or expanded correctional facilities across the city. This includes the privately-owned Northwest Detention Center. The measure is in place for six months, while the council works on permanent regulations.
Council member Marty Campbell introduced the emergency ordinance. It passed unanimously. Campbell says with public detention facilities, the city knows when it plans to expand. With privately owned ones, it’s a different story.
“We just wanted to make sure before we saw a large increase or a potential increase, that we would have a chance to get regulations in place that recognize our ability to be able to serve, serve a facility like that in our city – or that what we have is already enough,” Campbell said.
The federal immigration detention center is one of the largest in the U.S. with an estimated 1500 detainees. The GEO Group that operates the facility has not announced plans to expand. But Campbell says with national attention on immigration, the council wants to be out in front of any changes.
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