Tag Archive: CMU

I ‘Got Snatched’: Daniel McGowan’s Bizarre Trip Through America’s Prison System

From Huffington Postdaniel_image002

Daniel McGowan was in the yard of the Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, Minn., when his name rang out over the loudspeaker. It had been eight months since he first reported to the low-security prison to start a seven-year sentence for conspiracy and arson. To pass the time, he worked as an orderly in the prison psychology department, took correspondence classes and exercised.

Sandstone, located nearly smack-dab in the middle of the country, was about as far removed as McGowan could be from his wife, Jenny Synan, in New York and from his former compatriots in the Earth Liberation Front in Oregon, with whom he had been caught in a national law enforcement sweep. But he still kept in touch with the outside world, writing passionate articles about the environment and prisons for publications like the Earth First! Journal. He was allotted 300 minutes of phone time a month. And on the rare occasions when Synan could get away from work, she would come see him. In the prison’s visiting room, they would hug and kiss and play board games together.

He was looking forward to such a visit when the loudspeaker told him to report to the prison’s shipping and receiving department. It was the day before his second wedding anniversary in May 2008, and he assumed that he was being called in for some routine matter. Perhaps the package full of books he had recently mailed to his wife had been returned for insufficient postage, he thought.

Instead, a prison staffer handed McGowan two boxes and told him to fill them up with his possessions. He was the one being shipped. When he asked his case manager where he was being taken, he was thrown in a cell.

He headed south the next day, still unsure of his destination. “When I got on the bus, they told me ‘Marion,'” McGowan says. (more…)

Campaign to Transfer Marie Mason from Special Isolation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom Support Marie Mason

The campaign to have Marie moved from her special isolation unit is underway! Please write a letter today.

You can download the “Move Marie” here:

trifold color brochure (smaller version, 600KB)

trifold color brochure (larger version)

The text version and a sample letter are available here.

Daniel McGowan Loses Lawsuit Against Bureau Of Prisons

daniel_mcgowan_FREE!By Matt Sledge / Huffington Post

A federal court has dismissed an environmental activist’s claims against the U.S. Bureau of Prisons over a restrictive prison wing he was housed in, but a lawsuit filed by other prisoners against the government over its restrictive communication management units continues.

Daniel McGowan, 39, served seven years in federal prison for arson connected with the Earth Liberation Front, four of them in the secretive communication management units, or CMUs, dubbed “Little Guantanamo” by critics.

Along with dozens of other mostly Muslim inmates, McGowan’s phone calls with the outside world and physical contact with his family were severely limited. Even after he was released to a halfway house, McGowan was briefly tossed back into prison this year for writing a Huffington Post blog entry detailing his case. (more…)

NYC ABC Update on Daniel McGowan’s Reimprisonment

dm

UPDATE (5 Apr): Thanks to some great work by attorney Rachel Meeropol (CCR), the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) blinked and have allowed Daniel McGowan to return to the halfway house. Make no mistake, without  media coverage, radical attorney intervention, and the attention from folks on the streets, all over the world, Daniel would still be at MDC and would likely have spent the remainder of his sentence there. Through negligence, ignorance, or malevolence (or, as we presume, a mix of the three), the BOP targeted Daniel with an outdated regulation that has been struck down by the court as unconstitutional and allegedly removed from the BOP in 2010. Maybe they thought no one would notice.

While Daniel is going back to the halfway house, if you haven’t already seen it, you should watch this news report. The reporter for the Huffington Post puts it best: “Absolutely, this story is crazy.”

NYC Anarchist Black Cross:

We got word late yesterday that Daniel McGowan was told he wouldn’t be issued a pass to go to work the next day. According to his keepers at the halfway house, this denial came at the direction of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). When he followed up, Daniel was told that it wasn’t merely a denial of a work pass, but a restriction on all movement. When asked if that meant federal marshals were coming to get him the next day, the halfway house administrators told him they didn’t know.

The state, and its for-profit halfway house minions, were clearly in collusion. This is just another way that opacity is used to mindfuck folks left to twist in the wind, not knowing what the future holds.

From our understanding, the reason for his re-imprisonment is directly related to an article Daniel recently wrote for the Huffington Post. An attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights has been to visit Daniel at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Once we know more, we’ll pas the information on.

For now, take time to send Daniel a card or letter. Let him know that regardless of how the state treats him, we have his back.

Write to Daniel at:Daniel McGowan #63794-053
MDC Brooklyn
Post Office Box 329002
Brooklyn, New York 11232