PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Critics of the Berks County Detention Center are becoming increasingly frustrated by Harrisburg’s stance on the controversial facility for immigrant families.
Dozens of members of the Shutdown Berks Coalition gathered outside City Hall this past week to vent their frustration at Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the state Department of Human Services. DHS had revoked the facility’s license, only to see an administrative law judge reverse it last April. Since then, feet shuffling, says coalition member Sundrop Carter.
“All we have heard from the governor is saying that someone else needs to take care of this problem,” Carter said. “It’s not his responsibility to ensure that children in this state are safe and taken care of.”
The coalition has called for a sit-down with the Governor Wolf based on a legal memo written by Jennifer Lee of Temple Law’s Sheller Center for Social Justice.
“These families are being held in a county facility,” Lee said, “not a federal facility, which must be licensed by the state.”
They want the detention facility closed due to what they say is an adverse physical and psychological environment for children.