The Suffolk County Sheriff's department has severed its relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, according to a statement released Tuesday from Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins.

The jail plans to instead focus resources on women entering the Suffolk County jail, which “will soon be an expanded population,” according to the statement.

“[Our programming] allows us to address these issues, which include domestic violence, sexual exploitation and substance use disorders, to name a few,” the statement reads. “We take pride in the services that we have been able to provide to ICE detainees, but we are elated about this new opportunity to expand our services across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to reach more women.”

In a statement provided to WGBH News, ICE spokesman Marcos D. Charles said the agency was “disappointed to learn of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department’s decision to end their longstanding, cooperative partnership agreement with our agency.”

According to the contract between the Suffolk County jail and ICE, which dates back to 2003, all of the ICE detainees currently housed at the facility are male. The statement did not specify how many detainees will be relocated, or a possible new location for housing the detainees.

“ICE may now be forced have to depend on its national system of detention bed space to place those detainees in locations farther away,” Charles said in the statement, “reducing the opportunities for in-person family visitation and attorney coordination.”

Massachusetts ACLU Executive Director Carol Rose also expressed concerns with a lack of access to family and legal help. “It would be a disservice to Massachusetts families if this decision resulted in the creation of new detention space or a shuffling of custodial powers that resulted in detained people lacking access to family and legal representation,” Rose said in a written statement. “Now more than ever, Massachusetts residents should demand our leaders — particularly our legislature and Governor — stand up against the Trump Administration’s cruel, anti-immigrant agenda.”

Rose also described the decision as an “opportunity” for ICE to release the “needlessly-detained” people “who want nothing more than to return to their families and their communities.”

In July, 18 activists were arrested outside the Suffolk County House of Corrections at a protest demanding that the jail break ties with ICE.

Beginning this week, Tompkins says the county jail will begin receiving more women awaiting trial and women who have been convicted and sentenced from Plymouth, Essex, and Norfolk counties. The sheriff’s department also plans to “reallocate resources” towards the Community Re-Entry for Women, or C.R.E.W program, to provide care to incarcerated women.

Tompkins says despite an overall decline in prison populations across the country, the number of incarcerated women “has continued to rise” and the department’s “gender-specific programming” would cater to that population.

ICE plans to complete its relocation of detainees from the House of Correction by mid-December.