Advocates for women who were sexually abused in a federal prison in Northern California are requesting compassionate release for the victims, The Associated Press reports.
The women are inmates in the federal Bureau of Prisons’ women’s facility in Dublin, nicknamed the “Rape Club” by many who are familiar with it.
The request to the Justice Department came from criminal justice advocacy group Families Against Mandatory Minimums. The group delivered the request letter to Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, AP reported May 10.
Justice officials claim they are prioritizing reform at the FCI Dublin women’s prison, starting by replacing former Warden Ray J. Garcia, who was charged with sexually abusing and forcing females to pose nude and snapping photos with his government-issued cell phone.
FAMM President Kevin Ring said in a statement, “None of these women was sentenced to violence and torture. Yet we now know they were trapped by their abusers, with no ability to protect themselves or flee, making their incarceration an exceptionally degrading and terrifying experience.”
Garcia is one the five FCI Dublin employees since last June to be charged with sexually abusing prisoners on multiple occasions from December 2019 to March 2020. Garcia’s lawyer refused an interview for The AP article.
Since March 2022, prison officials placed nine other workers on administrative leave. “After failing to protect them, the very least BOP can do now is let these women leave and begin to heal,” Ring said.
AP investigators reported on numerous abuses in the federal prison system, including misconduct, bad leadership, and unrestrained sexual abuse by workers as well as severe staffing shortages, inmate escapes, and poor responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These negative issues contributed to the recent resignation of the agency’s director. The Justice Department did not comment on the motion for compassionate release, but Monaco said she is committed to holding BOP staff accountable, including by bringing additional criminal charges as warranted.