November 2023: On or around November 18, 2023, several masked CoreCivic officials entered an ICE unit at Cibola and dispersed pepper spray gas in response to a demonstration by five individuals who were protesting inadequate food and water, and growing frustration with their delayed deportations despite having removal orders from several months prior. CoreCivic staff reportedly turned off the ventilation units during the attack. Men who were not involved in the demonstration attempted to protect themselves from the pepper spray by going into their rooms and covering their faces. Men report fainting, vomiting, bleeding, and burning sensations, despite their efforts to avoid the conflict.
April 2023: Complaint filed against Cibola highlithing extreme medical neglect including failure to intervene in a mental health crisis culminating in a suicide attempt, unlivable conditions of confinement including a rat infestation, and misconduct by prison and ICE officials.
November 2022: Hunger strike at Cibola. A group of asylum seekers denounced medical neglect, unsafe and unsanitary conditions, inedible food, due process violations, prolonged detention, and racism at the facility. The attempted suicide in October 2022 pushed their feelings of desolation and frustration over their limits, spurring their hunger strike.
October 2022: Attempted suicide at Cibola. A man attempted suicide by hanging himself from a staircase railing with a sheet around his neck. Several people detained in Cibola managed to get the man down, and one person administered him mouth-to-mouth. Authorities took the man to the hospital, and he was placed in solitary confinement when he returned to Cibola.
August 2022: The complaint also alleges physical abuse in the form of water and food withholding and forcing Garrido Diaz to move without his walker, and with tight ankle shackles on, during an attempted deportation. After the attempted deportation failed, Garrido Diaz was taken to a hospital where he was informed his ankle was fractured, he was denied copies of the x-rays according to the complaint. In addition, the complaint alleges that Garrido Diaz was exposed to COVID-19 due to lack of safety precautions on behalf of CCCC & ICE officials, leading to him contracting the virus and being left to quarantine alongside other sick individuals without any medical attention.
September 2020: CoreCivic accused of ignoring COVID-19 outbreak.
January 2020: ICE closes transgender detention unit at Cibola and transfers all transgender persons detained there. ICE officials claimed that they were working with the Cibola facility’s owner, CoreCivic, to improve conditions at the detention center, but the transgender unit has not been reopened at Cibola.
January 2019: $5 million settlement reached in the case of the death of Roxana Hernandez.
May 2018: Death of Roxana Hernandez
October 2016: CoreCivic enters into a contract with Cibola County, New Mexico to detain individuals in ICE custody by repurposing a federal prison, the 1,129-bed Cibola County Correctional Center, into an ICE detention center.
2012: During a 2012 deposition hearing, Cibola’s long-serving nurse practitioner, June Kershner, revealed that the prison had no physician on staff, leaving the facility dangerously under-resourced. Inmates and staff now referred to her as “doctor” despite her lack of qualifications, and medication was prescribed by an Arizona-based doctor over the telephone.
May 2008: Jose Jaramillo was 52 years old and in the middle of a three-year sentence when he collapsed inside his cell at the Cibola County correctional center in May 2008. His crime had been to illegally enter the US to reunite with his wife and children. Jaramillo would never regain adequate cerebral functions, as his impoverished family battled on his behalf, first to keep him in America and then to sue the prison’s private contractor, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), for medical negligence. He died in 2016 after living in a vegetative state since the incident in Cibola.