Repent at Leisure

Viktor Bout update

A recent check of the US Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator web service indicates that Comrade Bout currently resides at USP Marion in Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois.

USP Marion — new prison camp facility

The United States Penitentiary (USP) in Marion, Illinois, is a medium security facility housing male inmates and should be considered an FCI Medium. The facility also has an adjacent satellite prison camp that houses minimum security male offenders.  Although designed as a USP and the facility’s official name continues to refer to it as such, this [facility] underwent institution population changes to accommodate [BOP]’s bed space capacity, security level, and population management needs. This institution houses medium security inmates and operates accordingly.

What the Bureau of Prisons is attempting to convey –in its somewhat stilted official language– is that USP Marion is no longer a hardcore, 24/7-lockdown, supermax prison.  From its inauguration in 1963 until 2006, Marion was the highest-security prison facility in the BOP system.  Nowadays, solitary confinement is uncommon there, but …

USP Marion is home to one of two known “Communication Management Units” (CMU) in the federal prison system. The [BOP] created Communication Management Units in response to criticism that it had not been adequately monitoring the communications of prisoners. CMU units severely restrict visitation rights for inmates and monitor all telephone calls and mail.  “Concentrating resources in this fashion will greatly enhance the agency’s capabilities for language translation, content analysis and intelligence sharing,” according to the Bureau’s summary of the CMU.

Apparently, the BOP believes that this is the place to stash convicted spies; Christopher Boyce, John Anthony Walker, and Jonathan Pollard all served time at Marion.  They’re gone now, so Inmate Bout will have a chance to improve his Arabic language skills instead: many of Marion’s current inmates are “Arab Muslims convicted of terrorism crimes.”



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