Essex County Correctional Facility, courtesy of NJTV
Toggle caption Photo by Brenda Flanagan, NJTV

Mary Rizzo for Don't Trust Essex County To Fix Its ICE Jail.

Don't trust Essex County to fix its ICE jail. It never has before, human rights advocates say

(Opinion in


Essex County Correctional Facility
The history of immigration detention at the Essex County jail is one of secrecy and obfuscation over poor conditions and human rights abuses including lack of access to clean water to physical and verbal abuse and the extensive use of solitary confinement, said Kathy O’Leary and Mary Rizzo.


No one can say that Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo isn't proud of his cages, whether they’re for the animals at the Turtleback Zoo or for people at the Essex County Correctional Facility.

Now, as DiVincenzo is starting a full court press to build an amphitheater with an aquatic tank for live animal performances at the zoo -- bringing to mind thoughts of SeaWorld or Barnum and Bailey’s -- another image, one of slimy lunch meat, moldy bread pudding and leaking ceilings is seared into the memories of immigrant rights advocates, all described in a report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in February after an inspection of the jail. But DiVincenzo is sticking by the jail that he helped complete when he was first elected.