The ACLU-NJ represents Shamsiddin A. Abdur-Raheem in his constitutional challenge to the New Jersey Department of Correction's "cell phone rule.” The rule prohibits inmates from making calls to any cell phone. It amounts to a total ban on telephone communication between inmates and their friends or family members who do not have landlines. This ban violates the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

On August 24, 2018, the Department of Corrections adopted regulations that allow prisoners to make calls to outside cellphones, subject to reasonable restrictions. In light of that, on December 14, 2018, Mr. Abdur-Raheem agreed to voluntarily dismiss the claim in his complaint related to cellphone calling (the only claim on which the ACLU-NJ represented him).

Date filed

May 31, 2017


United States District Court for the District of New Jersey