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Communications Management Units

"In this document, the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) finalizes regulations that establish and describe Communications Management Units (CMUs) by regulation. The CMUs regulations serve to detail the specific restrictions that may be imposed in the CMUs in a way that current regulations authorize but do not detail. CMUs are designed to provide an inmate housing unit environment that enables staff monitoring of all communications between inmates in a Communications Management Unit (CMU) and persons in the community. The ability to monitor such communication is necessary to ensure the safety, security, and orderly operation of correctional facilities, and protection of the public. These regulations represent a “floor” beneath which communications cannot be further restricted. The Bureau currently operates CMUs in two of its facilities. This rule clarifies existing Bureau practices with respect to CMUs." Sections cover: Designation to a CMU Is Not Discriminatory or Retaliatory; Assignment to a CMU With Notice Upon Arrival Does Not Violate the Due Process Clause; Restricting Inmates' Telephone and Visiting Privileges Does Not Violate the Due Process Clause; Restrictions on Unmonitored Communication With Members of the Media Are Not Unconstitutional; The Regulation Contains No “Absolute Ban” on Communication With Clergy, Consular Officials, or Non-Immediate Family Members; No-Contact Visitation in the CMU Is Constitutional Under the First Amendment; There Is a Rational Connection Between the Regulation and Its Objective; There Are Alternative Means of Exercising the Restricted Right; There Is a High-Risk Impact of Accommodating the Asserted Right on Prison Staff, Other Inmates, and Prison Resources; Alternatives Were Considered; A Prohibition on Contact Visitation Does Not Violate the Eighth Amendment; Conditions of CMU Confinement Are Not “Atypical and Significant”; Religious Activities for Inmates in CMUs Are Permitted in the Same Manner as Religious Activities for Inmates Who Are Not in CMUs; The Authority of the Assistant Director, Correctional Programs Division, To Approve CMU Designations May Not Be Delegated; and Additional Issues Raised During the 2014 Comment Period.