Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins is not breaking with ICE out of any newfound moral qualms, but because he needs the space ICE Is now renting at the South Bay jail to house 200 to 250 women prisoners.
In a statement, Tompkins says the beds now used to house ICE detainees will be used for a program in which the jail will take in women, both those awaiting trial and those serving sentences, from Plymouth, Essex,and Norfolk counties, through gender-specific programs, including Community Re-Entry for Women:
We are ending our contract with ICE to reallocate our resources towards helping local women to address long-standing issues that have contributed to their involvement in the criminal justice system. Our gender-specific programming, which is among the best in the country, allows us to address these issues, which include domestic violence, sexual exploitation and substance use disorders, to name a few.
Suffolk County has rented space to ICE since 2003. Tompkins expects the last of the ICE detainees to leave by mid-December.
WBZ reports. the director of the local ICE removal office is disappointed and says that the move will force ICE to house people in ICE custody away from Boston.