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Lawsuit Filed over Secretive Prison Units

HeadlineMar 30, 2010

The Center for Constitutional Rights is filing a lawsuit today challenging the legality of the government’s use of secretive prison units known as Communication Management Units, or CMUs. The units are designed to severely restrict prisoner communication with family members, the media and the outside world. Alexis Agathocleous is an attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Alexis Agathocleous: “In 2006 and ’07, the Federal Bureau of Prisons secretly opened two experimental prison units which impose extraordinary restrictions on communications. For example, there is a categorical ban on any physical contact with family during family visits, including with young children. CMU prisoners aren’t told what led to their transfers to the CMU, nor do they have any meaningful review process. And predictably, this secrecy has led to an unchecked pattern a designations that have no basis in real evidence, but instead are discriminatory and retaliatory. So two-thirds of the prisoners at the CMU are Muslim. That’s a thousand percent overrepresentation over the national average, while others simply have unpopular political views.”

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