OAKLAND — A group of people who spent time incarcerated at FCI Dublin have sued the now infamous all women federal prison, alleging that the ongoing sexual abuse scandal there came as a result of prison officials missing or flat-out ignoring warning signs for decades.
The suit, led by the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, alleges that sexual assault has long been a rampant problem at FCI Dublin, but that those responsible were able to avoid serious consequences until recently. In addition to the CCWP — a nonprofit that advocates for education over incarceration — eight alleged sexual assault victims are listed as the plaintiffs.
The suit accuses the Bureau of Prisons of failing to do enough to prevent sexual abuse at the prison, despite serious incidents going back to the 1990s. And it notes that when authorities finally started investigating the crimes, it was the FBI and Department of Justice, not the Bureau of Prisons, that led the probe.
“Survivors frequently face immediate retaliation, including placement in solitary confinement, repeated and unjustified strip and cell searches, and transfer to other facilities away from their families and support systems,” the suit says, later adding, “this dangerous state of affairs has continued, unabated, across multiple decades and multiple administrations.”
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FCI Dublin — secretly known by the nickname “Rape Club” — has been the subject of not just criminal investigations but Congressional calls for reform and civil rights investigations since 2021, when the first former corrections officer there was charged with sexual abuse of an incarcerated woman. Since then, seven more prison employees, including a prison chaplain, the onetime warden and other supervisors, have been charged or convicted of sexual abuse.
The suit alleges that in the 2010s, several guards were fired for “sexually abusing inmates, including one who videotaped himself having sex with inmates and stored those tapes in a prison locker,” but none were arrested. It also notes that in 1998, the Bureau of Prisons settled a lawsuit that alleged FCI Dublin guards kept “incarcerated women in a men’s solitary confinement unit and allowed them to be raped by the men being held there.”
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