CMUs/Prison Conditions

  • The Guantánamo in New York you’re not allowed to know about

    CMUs/Prison Conditions February 5, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. Mahdi Hashi, a young man of Somali origin who grew up in London, had never been to the United States before he was imprisoned in the 10-South wing of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan in November 2012, when he was 23. For over three years, he has been confined to a small cell 23 hours a day without natural light, with an hour alone in a slightly larger indoor cage. He has had no physical contact with anyone. Apart from occasional visits by his lawyer, his human interaction has been limited to brief, transactional exchanges with guards and a monthly 30-minute phone call with his family. Government restrictions — known as “special administrative measures,” or SAMs — prevent prisoners, their attorneys, and family members from describing the conditions inside the high-security unit to the wider public, shrouding New York’s little Guantánamo in secrecy.

  • U.S. escalates battle to keep Guantánamo force-feeding tapes hidden

    CMUs/Prison Conditions January 21, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. The government has refused to meet the deadline for the release of videotapes that show a detainee at Guantánamo being force-fed while on hunger strike. A federal judge had given the government until Friday, January 22, to release around 11 hours of footage in which a Syrian detainee, Abu Wa’el Dhiab, is forcibly removed from his cell, restrained, and force-fed. Dhiab’s lawyers have called the footage “extremely disturbing.”

  • “Suicide checks” lead to extreme sleep deprivation at California’s Pelican Bay prison

    CMUs/Prison Conditions January 21, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Solitary Watch. Since August 2015, men in the Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit have been subjected to loud, disruptive “welfare checks,” causing sleep deprivation that amounts to torture, according to prisoners rights activists. The welfare checks, which occur throughout the state prison system, were only recently implemented in the Pelican Bay SHU, which still houses approximately 900 men in solitary confinement despite the recent settlement to reduce isolation in California’s prisons.

  • Guantanamo population below 100 as 10 Yemenis sent to Oman

    CMUs/Prison Conditions January 14, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: AFP. Ten Yemeni former inmates from the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay arrived in Oman on Thursday, Muscat’s foreign ministry said, as Washington struggles to close the notorious prison.The transfer is the largest to a single country at any one time under the administration of US President Barack Obama, and brings the facility’s population down to 93. The 10 men are: Fahed Abdullah Ahmad Ghazi, Samir Naji al-Hasan Muqbil, Adham Mohamed Ali Awad, Mukhtar Yahya Naji al-Warafi, Abu Bakr Ibn Muhammad al-Ahdal, Muhammad Salih Husayn al-Shaykh, Muhammad Said Salim Bin Salman, Said Muhammad Salih Hatim, Umar Said Salim al-Dini, and Fahmi Abdallah Ahmad Ubadi al-Tulaqi.

  • Historic settlement overhauls solitary confinement in New York

    CMUs/Prison Conditions December 16, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: NYCLU. The New York Civil Liberties Union and New York State today announced a settlement agreement that will comprehensively overhaul solitary confinement in New York State — one of the largest prison systems in the country — and provide a framework for ending the state’s overreliance on extreme isolation. The agreement will result in the end of traditional solitary confinement for more than 1,100 people — one-quarter of the current solitary population — who will either be placed in alternative units or provided with less isolating, more rehabilitative conditions.

  • Case in focus: challenging the immigration detention quota

    CMUs/Prison Conditions November 6, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Center for Constitutional Rights. Since 2009, appropriations bills passed by the U.S. Congress have required the funding of 34,000 immigration detention beds per day. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have interpreted this funding provision as a requirement that those beds be filled at all times. Some of the people detained based on this detention bed quota are in local jails and correctional facilities, but many are in private, for-profit correctional facilities run by corporations with enormous lobbying power. The increasing rates of detention and deportation in the Obama years have coincided with the growth of private prison contractors, who now control 62% of immigration detention beds.

  • Solitary in California jails still hellish despite state reforms

    CMUs/Prison Conditions October 29, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. In September, California agreed to drastically reduce the use of solitary confinement in its prisons, the result of a 2012 lawsuit by the Center for Constitutional Rights, filed on behalf of inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison, a supermax facility located just south of the California-Oregon border. The lawsuit, Ashker v. Brown, argued that Pelican Bay’s reliance on prolonged, indefinite solitary confinement — one plaintiff had been in isolation for 43 years — was unconstitutional. But the Ashker settlement has no bearing on California’s 123 jails and their roughly 73,000 inmates, which are under the control of county sheriffs’ departments.

  • ISIS suspect being held under ‘brutal conditions’

    CMUs/Prison Conditions October 23, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: MPR News. Attorneys for a Minneapolis man in jail awaiting trial on terrorism conspiracy charges say he is living under “brutal conditions” and has been placed in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. Glenn Bruder, attorney for Guled Omar said that Omar, 21, is being held in a secure unit intended for people with mental health problems and disciplinary cases. It adds that he has also been denied visits from his family. In the secure unit where he’s being held, Bruder wrote, Omar is not allowed to have reading materials. His legal papers were confiscated, because he is not allowed to have more than a half-inch of paper at one time.

  • In rare admission, US says evidence against ex–Gitmo inmate was unreliable

    CMUs/Prison Conditions October 21, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: AlJazeera. The U.S. government has, in a seemingly rare admission of intelligence failing, stated publicly that its central allegation against a former Guantánamo prisoner turned out to be unreliable and was withdrawn in 2011.Younous Chekkouri was repatriated to Morocco last month after languishing at the controversial detention camp in Cuba since 2002. He is currently detained in Salé prison, near Rabat, awaiting a decision over his release.

  • Torture by another name: CIA used ‘water dousing’ on at least 12 detainees

    CMUs/Prison Conditions October 16, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Guardian. At least a dozen more people were subjected to waterboard-like tactics in CIA custody than the agency has admitted, according to a fresh accounting of the US government’s most discredited form of torture. The CIA maintains it only subjected three detainees to waterboarding. But agency interrogators subjected at least 12 others to a similar technique, known as “water dousing”, that also created a drowning sensation or chilled a person’s body temperature – sometimes through “immersion” in water, and often without use of a board.