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Women’s Prison Where Inmates Were Subjected To Sex Abuse Closed By Bureau Of Prisons

The federal Bureau of Prisons announced the closure of FCI Dublin, a women’s prison in California notoriously dubbed the "rape club" due to severe staff-on-inmate sexual abuse, highlighted by an AP investigation. Despite considerable efforts and resources aimed at reforming the facility and addressing employee misconduct, culture issues, and infrastructure, the Bureau concluded that the prison was not meeting standards. The closure decision follows a judicial move just days prior, appointing a special master to oversee the facility.

FCI Dublin, located about 21 miles east of Oakland, was the sole women-only federal prison in the western U.S., housing 605 inmates. These inmates will now be transferred to other facilities, and no employee layoffs are expected. Advocates and lawyers for the inmates have criticized the abrupt closure, expressing concerns about inmate safety and the continuation of abuse issues in other facilities. They have called for some inmates to be released into supervised programs instead of being transferred. Amaris Montes, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said inmates were subjected to retaliatory action after reporting abuse. 

“I think that the BOP is quick to try to transfer accountability and move accountability elsewhere as the way to remedy the issue. And that would mean, you know, moving people quickly without addressing people’s needs right now.”

Additionally, ongoing legal battles and advocacy highlight a systemic issue of abuse within the prison system, not isolated to FCI Dublin. The Bureau's decision to close the prison instead of directly addressing these deep-rooted problems indicates a broader struggle to maintain constitutional standards and protect inmates from abuse and harassment. The civil litigation against the Bureau of Prisons will continue, underscoring their ongoing responsibility to ensure inmate safety.

“We’ve worked so hard to get a special master in there to clean house, so to speak,” said the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of her status as a whistleblower in an ongoing lawsuit. The AP doesn’t name victims of sexual abuse without their consent. “And pretty much the minute after that happened, they say they’re just going to close it down.”

Link: AP News


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