Communications Management Units and the Expansion of Unconstitutional Detention Policies in the post-9/11 Federal Prison System: A discussion with CCR Racial Justice and Government Misconduct Attorney Alexis Agathocleous
Since 9/11, the United States government has steadily expanded the ways it detains individuals that it claims pose a threat to national and prison security. The “war on terror” gave way to the Guantánamo Bay Detention Center, racial profiling dragnets that swept up Muslim, South Asian and Arab non-citizens and the imposition of draconian “Special Administrative Measures” on prisoners within the federal prison system. There has, in other words, been a proliferation of detention policies and secretive detention practices that have dispensed with basic constitutional protections, disproportionately targeting both Muslim communities and members of politically unpopular movements like the environmental justice movement.
Beginning in 2006, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) secretly created two Communications Management Units (CMUs)—experimental prison units designed to isolate and segregate certain prisoners from the rest of the BOP population. The two CMUs house between 60 and 70 prisoners, two-thirds of whom are Muslim, an 1000% overrepresentation compared to the Muslim population in the federal prison system overall. Many of the other prisoners are involved in political activism or have advocated for their rights in the prison system. The CMUs impose severe restrictions of these prisoners’ ability to communicate with their families and loved ones—including a blanket ban on any physical contact with visiting children and spouses—without any disclosure about why or how these prisoners have been designated to the CMUs and without any opportunity to challenge their designation.
Join CCR attorney Alexis Agathocleous for a candid discussion on our new case challenging the policies and conditions at the two CMUs and the circumstances under which they were established. This event will be followed by a 15-20 minute Q&A session.
Time: 6:00 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.
This event is sponsored by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Portland Chapter for the National Lawyers Guild.