Berks Family Residential Center (ICE)

County Juvenile

Last Updated: January 14, 2020
1040 Berks Road , Leesport, PA 19533

Berks Family Residential Center (ICE) is for County Juvenile offenders have not been sentenced yet and are detained here until their case is heard.

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Satellite View of Berks Family Residential Center (ICE)

Berks Family Residential Center (ICE) basic information to help guide you through what you can do for your inmate while they are incarcerated. The facility's direct contact number: 610-396-0310

The Berks Family Residential Center (ICE) is a medium to low-security detention center located at 1040 Berks Road Leesport, PA that is operated locally by the Juvenile Justice Department and holds youths awaiting the determination of punishment for the crimes which they are accused. Most of the adolescents are here for less than two years.

The Residential Center is committed to maintaining a safe and caring environment that promotes positive growth and behaviors through competent counselors who display professional spirit. To ensure our services and policies operate within the legislative framework provided for the protection of children and families in our care. To ensure a close and co-operative working relationship with JFRMU.

This Center currently operates the Family Residential Program through a inter-governmental service agreement with the Juvenile and Family Residential Management Unit.

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 Berks County 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 Berks County 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.

Critical Objectives - 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 Customs Enforcement have 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 administrative immigration proceedings. The facility provides an effective humane alternative for alien families to maintain family unity as they await the outcome of their immigration hearings or return to their home countries.

If you need information about a resident that is housed at this center, you may call (610) 816-0743 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. When you call, please have the individual’s biographical information ready, including first, last and hyphenated names, any aliases he or she may use, date of birth and country of birth.

Residents cannot receive incoming calls. If you need to get in touch with a resident to leave an urgent message, you must call (610) 816-0743 and leave the resident’s full name, alien registration number and your name and telephone number where you can be reached. The resident will be given your message.

Letters sent to residents should include the last four digits of the resident’s A-number (File Number), plus the sender’s name and address. To enhance the safety of the center, all incoming mail is subject to screening for contraband. The mail is not read upon opening, only inspected by the delivering officer. Residents may send mail from the facility. Residents may seal their outgoing letters and place them in the provided receptacle. All incoming mail will be delivered to the resident, and outgoing mail will be routed to the proper postal office within 24 hours of receipt by facility staff.

Residents are allowed to purchase stamps for use. Generally, there is no limit to the amount of correspondence residents may send at their own expense. Indigent residents (those who have no means of financial support and no funds in their account) will be provided postage allowance at government expense.

When residents depart the center or are transferred to another facility, only their legal mail will be forwarded to them. General correspondence will be endorsed "Return to Sender" and returned to the post office.

If residents receive funds in the mail, they will be taken to the processing area for the money to be placed into their account. The processing officer will provide a receipt for all funds received. Residents are cautioned not to have cash sent to them in the mail.

A resident may receive items that are determined to be of necessity for the sole purpose of travel or release from agency custody with approval of the ICE Deportation Officer.

Before sending packages to residents, please contact ICE at (610) 816-0743 for further instructions.

Note that residents being removed from the United States are allowed one small piece of luggage. If a resident does not have such baggage, such luggage can be sent/delivered after receiving approval from Supervisory Deportation Officer. Please be advised that for security reasons, no electronic devices (cell phones, electric razors, laptop computers, radios, etc.) will be accepted.

Inmate Locator

Juvenile facilities overseen by Berks County do not publish the names of the offenders housed in their facility. As such, there is no public forum for this information.

Visitation Information

Berks County Residential Center - Visitation

Friends and Family Visits

  • All visitors must have an appointment. Appointments can be made by contacting a caseworker at (610) 396-0310, ext. 2360 or 2361, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week. If a visitor arrives who did not schedule an appointment, a decision will be made on a case by case basis as to whether the visit will be allowed. Visitation is conducted seven days a week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Visits may be for any length of time, but cannot interfere with programming (meals, medical, court, etc.).
  • All visitors are required to enter the center through the main entrance, located directly across from the main parking lot in the front of the building.
  • Adult visitors must present a valid, verifiable government-issued photo identification card to enter the center.
  • Minors must be accompanied by an adult. At the discretion of management, a minor (under the age of 18) without positive identification may be admitted if the accompanying adult visitor vouches for his or her identity. Minors must remain under the direct supervision of the adult visitor at all times during the visit.
  • Visitors must secure all personal belongings in their vehicle prior to entering the center. Residents are not permitted to accept any item from a visitor unless approved by Management beforehand.
  • Visitors must wear appropriate and socially acceptable attire.
  • All visits will be monitored.
  • Any disruptive conduct by any party during a visit will result in the termination of the visit and may have an adverse effect on future visits.

Attorney Visits

Legal representatives of residents are authorized to visit their clients during the following hours:

Legal visitation is conducted seven days a week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Legal representatives must schedule an appointment and are required to submit visitation requests 72 hours in advance of their initial visit and at least 24 hours in advance of additional visits. Appointments can be made by contacting a caseworker at (610) 396-0310, ext. 2360 or 2361, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week. Pre-cleared legal visitors or attorneys will generally not be rejected if they do not provide 24 hour advanced notification; however, failing to provide notice may delay the visit based on time and or space limitations.

A list of pro bono (free) legal organizations will be posted in all resident housing units and other appropriate areas. This list shall be updated quarterly. If a resident wishes to see a representative or paralegal from that organization, it is the resident’s responsibility to contact them for an appointment.

Consular Visits

Consular officials may meet with their nationals at any time. It is requested that prior arrangements be made with the ICE Supervisory Deportation Officer to the extent possible, and that consular officials bring appropriate credentials when they come to the facility. The ICE Supervisory Deportation Officer for this center can be reached at (610) 816-2341.

Clergy Visits

Clergy may visit residents at any time, but must make prior arrangements with the Chaplain’s Office.

Visiting Restrictions

  • No firearms or weapons of any kind are permitted in the center.
  • If visitors are or appear to be intoxicated, visitation will not be allowed.
  • All visitors are subject to search while in the center.
  • Visitors are not allowed to pass or attempt to pass any items to residents unless approved by management at the center.
  • Visitors are not allowed to carry any items into the visitation area unless approved by management at the center.

Search Procedures (prior to or during all visitations)

A hand held wand will be used to scan all individuals requesting admittance to the center or the visitation area. Individuals refusing to cooperate with a reasonable search will not be admitted. No firearms or weapons of any kind are permitted. No electronic devices (cell phones, pagers, radios, etc.) are permitted in the secure areas of the center.

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