Is Immigration Detention the New Incarceration Boom?

Thursday, March 30, 2017 -
12:00pm to 2:00pm PDT
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Every night, approximately 40,000 immigrants — men, women and children — sleep in county jails, and federal and privately run prison facilities all over the United States, as part of a federally mandated detention bed quota totaling $2.3 billion. They spend months, and sometimes even years, in the criminal justice system without a hearing or any news on when their detention might end. The vast majority of detainees are innocent, or can isolate their criminal record to “broken windows policing,” and are housed in prisons simply due to a justice system driven by perceived flight risk. In fact, while many political leaders are looking for ways to decrease the prison population through reform initiatives, there remain a string of contradictory policies and systems at the federal and local level that continue to entangle poor, undocumented immigrants into the criminal justice system. 

New York City – as a leader in justice reform and a champion of the achievements of immigrants – has done much to preserve its “sanctuary city“ status and therefore holds an important voice in the national discussion. Join us in a conversation with academic, government, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders as we explore the history of immigration detention in America, analyze reforms at the local and federal level, discuss what solutions might look like under a federal administration unwelcoming of a pro-immigrant and justice reform agenda, and understand how philanthropy is playing a critical role in addressing the issue.


  • The link between immigration detention and a growing prison population
  • Community-based compliance mechanisms and other alternatives to the immigration detention system
  • Current and future reforms and initiatives in immigration detention and deportation defense at the local NYC level
  • Emerging changes in immigration detention policy under the new administration and opportunities for advocacy
  • Initiatives philanthropy is supporting to decrease immigrant detention



Registration for this event is now closed.

Please email [email protected] with any questions.