July 2010, Week 3


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Mon, 19 Jul 2010 00:20:05 -0400
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America's Secret Prisons
by Niamh Marnell
DC Bureau
21 June 2010

The American Civil Liberties Union  (ACLU) and the ACLU
of Indiana filed a legal complaint June 18, 2009,
challenging the secret creation of the housing units
within federal prisons in which prisoners are severely
isolated from the outside world. The ACLU says that the
housing units are intended for prisoners the government
labels as terrorists and that their creation violated
federal law which requires a period of public comment. A
staff attorney with the ACLU National Prison Project,
David Shapiro, said, "The government created CMUs
without any opportunity for public comment or oversight
in an effort to skirt obligations of accountability and

The two CMUs, one at Terre Haute, Indiana, and the other
at Marion, Illinois, opened in 2006 and 2007 without any
public notice. After a series of legal complaints were
filed against the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for
creating the prisons outside of the required channels
and for violating the constitutional rights of inmates,
the BOP opened a period of public comment earlier this
year, which just recently closed.

On June 2, 2010, the ACLU submitted their comments to
the BOP.  Others also submitted comments, including the
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), other civil
rights and liberties groups, CMU prisoners, family
members and friends, legal organizations, former
correctional officials, environmental organizations,
psychologists, and more.

[modertor: to read the entire article please click the
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