Commissioner guilty of lying to enter detention facility

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. probation / proʊˈbeɪ ʃən / (n.) – a situation or time period when a person guilty of a crime is allowed to stay outside of prison if he/she behaves well and does not commit another crime

    The man was placed on probation for two years.

  2. detention / dɪˈtɛn ʃən / (n.) – the act of putting and keeping someone in prison

    Authorities arranged for the detention of the suspected terrorists.

  3. misdemeanor / ˌmɪs dɪˈmi nər / (n.) – a less serious type of crime

    Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a misdemeanor in many countries.

  4. pretense / prɪˈtɛns / (n.) – a false reason or explanation used to hide the real purpose of something

    The woman said she works in a bank and collected money from customers under false pretenses.

  5. paralegal / ˌpær əˈli gəl / (n.) – someone who works in a law office and is trained to help a lawyer but is not yet completely qualified to be a lawyer

    I’m planning to work as a paralegal before taking the lawyers’ qualification exams.


Read the text below.

A South Florida village commissioner and former beauty queen has been sentenced to a year of probation and 50 hours of community service for pretending to be a paralegal to get into a federal immigration detention center to see her romantic partner.

Julianna Clare Strout, 36, was sentenced in Miami federal court after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of attempting to enter, and entering, a federal facility using fraud and false pretenses, according to court records.

Strout was elected to the North Bay Village Commission in 2018. Her term ends in November, and she isn’t running for re-election. North Bay Village covers two small islands in the bay between the northern ends of Miami and Miami Beach.

In October 2021, the Krome Service Processing Center in Miami temporarily suspended social visits because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Legal visits were permitted.

Strout entered Krome three times that month by telling Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials that she worked as a paralegal for a law firm and that she needed a client, who was actually her romantic partner, to sign legal documents, prosecutors said.

Strout presented officials with a letter written on letterhead from a real law firm. But she had never worked for the firm, and attorneys there said they never authorized her to use their letterhead or visit Krome on their behalf.

On one occasion, after initially being denied entry, Strout presented officers at Krome with her North Bay Village Commissioner badge, explained that she was a public official and asked to enter Krome on that basis, investigators said.

Strout won the Miss Rhode Island competition in 2009 and competed in the Miss America pageant in 2010.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Strout was sentenced to a year of probation and 50 hours of community service. Do you think the punishment is enough for what she did? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • After being denied entry to Krome, Strout presented her village commissioner badge, explained she was a public official, and asked to enter the facility. What do you think of her actions (ex. irresponsible, corrupt)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • How should authorities strengthen the detention facility’s security to prevent people like Strout from entering? Discuss.
  • In October 2021, Krome temporarily suspended social visits but permitted legal visits. Do you think this was a good decision? Why or why not? Discuss.