By Derek Gilna
Omar Rezaq, Mohammed Saleh, El-Sayyid Nosair and Ibrahim Elgabrowny, convicted of terrorism-related offenses and confined at the federal supermax ADX facility in Florence, Colorado, filed suit contending they had a liberty interest in “avoiding transfer without due process to the high-security prison.” The district court denied relief, which was affirmed by the Tenth Circuit on April 20, 2012.
ADX, according to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), serves two primary penological interests: 1) “maintaining the safety of both staff and inmates, while eliminating the need to increase the security of other penitentiaries,” and 2) “confin[ing] prisoners under close controls while providing them opportunities to demonstrate progressively responsible behavior … and establish readiness for transfer to a less secure institution.”
In this case the plaintiffs were transferred to ADX from a U.S. Penitentiary, itself a high-security facility, but during the course of the litigation were moved from ADX to one of the BOP’s two Communications Management Units (CMUs). The CMUs are located in Marion, Illinois and Terre Haute, Indiana. [See: PLN, Sept. 2012, p.26]. While CMUs are also highly-controlled, they include the added feature of heavily-restricted communications with the outside world.