The Berks County Residential Center is an organization that promotes a professional work ethic founded upon:
Goals & Objectives
The goals and objectives are to continue to meet the requirements set forth in the ICE Family Residential Standards as well as DPW’s residential care guidelines governing the Residential Center’s operation, while striving to design programs to meet the needs of the residents in the program.
Key public Service Areas
Provide necessary and appropriate residential services to eligible immigration families. Routine medical and dental care is provided on-site, and vaccinations are provided to children. Recreational activities and special events are planned according to the diverse cultures represented. Adult classes are available in parenting, English as a second language, vocational skills, and arts and crafts.
Scope of Operations
To provide a Family Residential Program for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Residential Center provides for the care and custody of non-violent, non-criminal alien families in a residential setting pending the outcome of their immigration proceedings. Berks County became the first facility in the United States, and continues to be the only facility in the Country to house families and children together while undergoing immigration proceedings.
The Berks County Residential Center provides an avenue for the residents to maintain family unity while Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforces immigration laws.
Preliminary Performance Highlights
U. S. Immigration and Customes Enforcement has operated the Berks County Residential Center, Family Program since 2001, in order to accommodate alien families in custody. This facility was designed for non-violent, non-criminal families who have been placed into adminsistrative immigration proceedings. The facility provides an effective humane alternative for alien familites to maintain family unity as they await the outcome of their immigration hearings or return to their home countries.
All visits must be scheduled through the Caseworkers or Interpreter. Their numbers can be found at the top of the page. Unscheduled visits will not be permitted.
Resident mail must contain the residents full name and the address listed above. Contraband (i.e.. tobacco products, food) are not permitted to be sent.
About the Juvenile and Family Residential Management Unit
The Juvenile and Family Residential Management Unit (JFRMU) addresses issues that arise when immigration officers encounter unaccompanied alien child (UAC), other minors, and family groups during the course of operations.
Other JFRMU duties include:
- Based on best practices, JFRMU manages a residential center for certain families mandatorily detained during removal proceedings.
- Through intra- and interagency working groups and informal interaction, JFRMU and our counterparts address issues of common concern in the interest of creating efficiencies in the best interest of the children, the families, and the government.
In addition to addressing general issues alien family groups face, JFRMU manages a Family Residential Program at a center located in Berks, Pennsylvania:
- The ICE Family Residential Standards provide the framework for this program which is supported by on-site Headquarters staff and which undergoes regular, rigorous compliance inspections.
- The Center houses low-level, non-criminal residents in a family-friendly, shelter-like setting.
- All residents enjoy open movement and are provided with ongoing medical and mental-health care as well as other supportive services.
- School age children are taught by state certified educators in an age- and developmental-appropriate setting.
- JFRMU collaborates with other DHS components, federal agencies, and national and international non-governmental organizations on juvenile- and family-immigration issues.
- JFRMU tracks trends in UAC migration and works proactively with its partners to promote best practices.
- JFRMU team members serve on interagency working groups and other forums including the congressionally mandated Coordinating Council for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention chaired by the Attorney General.
Currently our new location (address below) is under construction. As more information is available on move-in dates we will update the website. 1040 Berks Road, Leesport, PA 19533