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Tell BOP to Stop (further) Isolating People in Experimental Prisons!

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is proposing further isolating people in Communications Management Units (more details below). There’s a period for public comment that ends June 7th.

Conveniently for the BOP, the comment form is undergoing some maintenance this weekend and won’t be back up until Monday, 5/31, at 11:59 pm. But that still leaves a week to leave a comment on the proposed rules.

If you can’t wait till Tuesday morning, you can also snail mail your outrage to the BOP:

Rules Unit, Office of General Counsel
Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street, NW.
Washington, DC 20534

Include the following docket number in your correspondence:

and please forward and post far and wide.

Take Action against Secret Prisons!!! Raise your Voice against the CMUs

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) recently opened up a period for public comment around the establishment of two Communications Management Units (CMUs), units designed to isolate and segregate certain prisoners in the federal prison system from the rest of the BOP population.

The proposed rules will further restrict already severe limits placed on CMU prisoners’ ability to visit with and communicate with family and friends. The rules would limit CMU prisoners to (1) only one phone call per month, to immediate family; (2) only one hour, non-contact visit per month with immediate family; and (3) only one 3-page letter to and from a single recipient per week.

Speak out against these proposed rules! Urge the BOP not to adopt the draconian restrictions described above for CMU prisoners. Click here to read how you can submit comments to the BOP:…


In 2006 and 2007, the BOP secretly created two experimental prison units designed to isolate certain prisoners from the rest of the prison population and the outside world. These units are called “Communications Management Units” or “CMUs,” and despite the fact that their creation marked a dramatic change in BOP policy, they were opened without the required opportunity for public notice and comment.

Prisoners in the CMU, alone out of all general population prisoners within the federal system, are categorically banned from any physical contact with visiting friends and family, including babies, infants, and minor children. To further their social isolation, the BOP has placed severe restrictions on their access to phone calls and work and educational opportunities. Adding to the suspect nature of these units, upwards of two-thirds of the prisoners confined there are Muslim – a figure that over-represents the proportion of Muslim prisoners in BOP facilities by at least 1000 percent. Many of the remaining prisoners have unpopular political views, including environmental activists designated as “ecoterrorists.”

Five CMU prisoners and two of their spouses (who, along with their children, have been subjected to draconian rules governing visitation and phone calls) have joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs. All five men confined in the CMU have been classified as low or medium security, but were designated to the CMU despite their relatively, and in two cases perfectly, clean disciplinary history. Not a single one has received discipline for any communications-related infraction within the last decade, nor any significant disciplinary offense.

Like all CMU prisoners, the men received no procedural protections related to their designation, and were not allowed to examine or refute the allegations that led to their transfer. They are also being held indefinitely at the CMU without any meaningful review process. They expect to serve their entire sentences in these isolated and punitive units.

Predictably, the lack of procedural protections has allowed for an unchecked pattern of discriminatory and retaliatory designations to the CMU. Rather than being related to a legitimate penological purpose or based on substantiated information, our clients’ designations were instead based on their religious and/or perceived political beliefs, or in retaliation for other protected First Amendment activity.

These conditions have unjustifiably interfered with the men’s ability to maintain relationships with their loved ones – relationships that are the key to their successful transition back to society.

For more information, go to:

To read political prisoner, Daniel McGowan’s personal appeal on Huffington Post, go to:…

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