May 23, 2018 --
On January 22, 2018, Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid terminated an Intergovernmental Service Agreement (IGSA) with ICE under which the Sheriff’s Office would hold inmates as long as 48 hours past their court-ordered release time with only an administrative detainer from ICE. With an effective date of May 23, 2018, Sheriff’s Office policy now requires that an ICE detainer be accompanied by a criminal judiciary order, which ensures due process.
The Sheriff’s Office cooperates with ICE per Code of Virginia § 53.1-218 and § 53.1-220.2 and will continue to do so. The law requires all Sheriffs to determine the residency status of individuals arrested and brought to jail. During the booking process, fingerprints are automatically transmitted to a state database to which all local, state and national law enforcement agencies, including ICE, have access. Booking deputies also notify ICE when an inmate served with an ICE detainer is scheduled to be released.
Termination of the IGSA aligns us with 121 of Virginia’s 123 County and City sheriffs who do not have an IGSA. None of those jurisdictions have reported an elevated safety risk from releasing inmates on the date the court said they should be released. Furthermore, the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force leadership stated that ending this agreement would have little to no impact on their operations. ICE agents can come into the Adult Detention Center at any time just like all other law enforcement officers.
Some members of our community have raised concerns about MS-13. There is no Sheriff’s Office policy, past or present, that affects the ability of local law enforcement, including Fairfax County police officers, to arrest gang members and bring them to the Adult Detention Center (ADC). Today, there are 32 verified members of MS-13 in the ADC out of a total population of 990 inmates. ICE has detainers on about half of them.
We also have inmates who belong to other gangs. Our Intelligence Unit actively investigates every incarcerated gang member and shares crucial information with all appropriate law enforcement agencies. When any person, regardless of their immigration status or gang affiliation, is convicted and sentenced for serious crimes – such as rape, robbery and murder – they are not released to the street. The Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) takes custody of these inmates to serve their sentence in a state prison. If the inmate is wanted by ICE, agents will pick up the inmate from the DOC once the full sentence has been served.
The men and women of the Sheriff’s Office are part of the public safety team that ensures Fairfax County is the safest jurisdiction of its size in this country. We will continue to work with all local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to keep Fairfax County safe and secure.
Please see Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 526 for information about the ADC booking process. The sections specific to ICE can be found on page 10 (item F-4) and pages 14-15 (items M 4-6).