Dawn Wooten, a nurse at the Irwin County Detention Centre in Georgia, has blown the lid off a series of negligent medical practices, including illegal hysterectomies being performed on female prisoners at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility. The whistleblower has also revealed that the detention center has also misreported the COVID-19 cases in their facility.
Located in Ocilla, Georgia, 190 miles south of Atlanta, the facility is privately owned by Lasalle Corrections. Wooten leveled the allegations against the detention center in a complaint filed with the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Irwin County Detention Center.
'Uterus Collector' Doctor Performs Hysterectomies on Female Detainees
Wooten, who claimed being demoted from working full time to an on-call position after she raised the complaints, said that hysterectomies were being performed on the woman without their consent. Stating that 'everybody's uterus cannot be that bad,' Wooten said that the procedure was done on female inmates who complained of heavy menstrual cycles or other more serious pain. "I've had several inmates tell me that they've been to see the doctor and they've had hysterectomies and they don't know why they went or why they're going," Wooten said in the report according to Refinery 29.
Calling the doctor who performed the hysterectomies 'Uterus collector', Wooten said that the ICDC engaged the services on only one out-of-facility doctor. "Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy — just about everybody. He's even taken out the wrong ovary on a young lady [detained immigrant woman]. She was supposed to get her left ovary removed because it had a cyst on the left ovary; he took out the right one," she disclosed.
COVID-19 Cases Being Underreported By the Authorities
In an interview with The Intercept, the nurse alleged that the officials had underreported the COVID-19 cases in the center. Calling the condition 'a silent pandemic' running inside the center, Wooten said that besides exposing the staff members and detainees to the risk of contraction, the symptomatic detainees are also not being tested.
"You don't want to see what you're seeing. You're responsible for the lives of others, but Irwin management, downplayed the threat of the virus from the start," said the nurse.
Refusing to the comment on the allegations, a spokesperson told the outlet that the LaSalle Corrections is firmly committed to the health and welfare of those in our care. "We are deeply committed to delivering high-quality, culturally responsive services in safe and humane environments," said the spokesperson.