Prison Rights Groups Allege Mistreatment Of African-American Muslims

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is alleging mistreatment of two African-American Muslim inmates in the Texas prison system. The inmates say they are facing retaliation because they spoke about conditions during Hurricane Harvey

CAIR’s Mustafaa Carroll and attorney Joaquina Rodriquez

Prisoner rights groups are concerned that Jewish and Muslim inmates have been denied legally-mandated religious accommodations. But they’re focusing on two inmates who were placed in solitary confinement in the Ramsey unit with no charges or disciplinary hearing. Mustafaa Carroll is with CAIR-Houston.

“CAIR denounces the use of retaliation in all of its forms, specifically when an inmate attempts to remedy grievances through legal and/or constitutional means.”

Attorney Joaquina Rodriquez said prisoner Nanon Williams filed a grievance, and Warden Virgil McMullen has 30 days to respond. But she said the warden heads the grievance hearing.

“So it’s a grievance against the warden, and the warden will determine whether or not that grievance is valid. Yeah, we already know what’s gonna happen there, which leave Nanon to appeal. A lawsuit cannot be filed until the grievance process is completed.”

During Hurricane Harvey, five units were evacuated, and at least 25 more lost power, including the facility in Rosharon, where the Ramsey Unit needed more than $600,000 in repairs.

Response after deadline from Jason Clark with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice: “The allegations presented are not factual. Neither were denied clothes or placed in a cell with no heat or water. There are many reasons an offender may be removed from general population but filing a complaint is not one of them.”


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