This article was originally published here and features Government Accountability Project client, Ellen Gallagher.

A Homeland Security Whistleblower Goes Public About Ice Abuse of Solitary Confinement 

Ellen Gallagher was stunned when she first learned that immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement were sometimes placed in isolation with no human contact for 22 hours a day. It was February 2014, only a few months into her stint as a policy adviser at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, where she thought she’d be empowered to ensure that the department did not violate the rights of those who came into its crosshairs.

For the next several months, Gallagher educated herself on solitary confinement, a controversial practice used frequently in penal institutions, but rare, she believed, in a civil context like immigration detention. She pored over weekly segregation reports that ICE produced and shared with her office.