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ACLU sues over 'secretly created' fed prison unit
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union sued the government Thursday over the creation of a special unit at the federal prison in Terre Haute, claiming it was created in secrecy and keeps mostly Muslim prisoners in stark isolation.
The ACLU says about 40 other prisoners, mostly Muslims, are being held in a "secretly created" Communication Management Unit in which they have no contact with other prisoners, limited contact with the outside world and no physical contact with family members.
"Designed to house prisoners viewed by the government as terrorists, they were established in violation of federal laws requiring public scrutiny and today are disproportionately inhabited by Muslim prisoners — many of whom have never been convicted of terrorism-related crimes," the ACLU said in a news release.
Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd defended the legality of the unit and said it did not target Muslims.
Dean said the Bureau of Prisons followed federal rules in creating the special unit to closely monitor prisoners' outside contacts. He said "race, country of origin or religious beliefs" are not factors in who is placed in the unit.
In addition to those convicted of terror-related crimes, the unit also is designed to hold certain disciplinary cases and sex offenders who try to contact their victims.
Prison da'wa is a propblem worldwide such that I have long suggested that the possibility of a Millbank Penitentiary type institution set up to modern standards should be considered. This, after all, is a community that mandates seclusion, portable or static, for its womenfolk.