More FCI Dublin Advocates Urge Courts, Feds to Consider Incarcerated as Facility Closes

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Via Wikimedia Commons

By Connie Martinez

DUBLIN, CA – Community members have been rallying for the incarcerated here to be released and not transferred after the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced the abrupt closure of the Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Dublin and claimed that all of the 605 people incarcerated would be transferred.

Incarcerated supporters said BOP “informed staff members that they did not need to show up for work, causing chaos and fear to break out at the prison, and BOP then rushed transferring people at FCI Dublin which included the vulnerable population of incarcerated people that consists of “numerous survivors of prison staff sexual abuse and medically vulnerable people, with little accountability or transparency.”

In addition, the current conditions at the prison “have rapidly deteriorated” as this transferring process occurs, said supporters in a statement this week, adding, people inside reported to “have been forced to throw away most of their possessions, do noy have access to basic necessities, and are not being provided adequate medical or mental healthcare.”

Also, supporters wrote, the incarcerated people that have been transferred, have undergone conditions “exacerbating the stress and trauma that people at Dublin have already endured,” adding, “Those who have been transferred report long chaotic bus rides without access to sufficient food and water, in tight shackles causing cuts and bruises, and days long waits.”

“Judge Gonzalez Rogers ordered  BOP to follow certain procedures, including evaluating medical conditions and eligibility for release, before moving people,” said the statement, adding BOP did not do that.

The community statement added BOP transferred people at Dublin “without regard for medical needs, pending requests for compassionate release, individuals’ previous history of sexual assault, or proximity to family, community and legal support networks.”

The other BOP women’s prisons are located in Eastern states which, as the press release states, results in “many people being transferred out of Dublin will be separated from their families by thousands of miles.”

The press statement said advocates worked with the survivors of sexual abuse at the prison, and have been demanding justice and safety for all people incarcerated at FCI Dublin.

Advocates have also called for President Biden to consider clemency toward the incarcerated at FCI Dublin, who are survivors of sexual abuse and for immigration detainers to be released by U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Last Friday, the California Coalition for Women’s Prisoners, et. al. (v. United States of America Federal Bureau of Prisons, et. al.), filed a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to stop the transfers.

This class action lawsuit on behalf of those at FCI Dublin would “allow the Special Master to conduct an investigation into the treatment of class members who were transferred , and to ensure anyone who still remains at FCI Dublin has their basic needs met.”

Due to the “BOP’s failure to consider medical needs and denial of release even for people who qualify, as well as fear of inhumane conditions at the facilities they could be transferred to,” 20 people have spoken out about their experiences.”

An incarcerated individual at FCI Dublin stated, “Please help (for another incarcerated person) and I as we are both victims of sexual assault and have severe medical issues,” noting their heart condition has not been treated and BOP facilities have shown that they are “incapable of treating my medical and mental health conditions.”

Emily Shapiro, a volunteer with the California Coalition for Women’s Prisoners (CCWP) has stated BOP “must be held accountable; for the abuse that permeates FCI Dublin and all federal prisons, you must release the people rather than transferring them.”

Shapiro concludes, “Our message to the people held at FCI Dublin is that we are with you.”

About The Author

Connie Martinez is a second-year student at the University of California, Los Angeles where she is majoring in Education with a minor in Public Affairs. Connie hopes to pursue her passion of being a voice for the silenced and wrongfully convicted by becoming a criminal defense attorney. In addition, she hopes to become a policymaker to cultivate an environment for minorities to thrive and be heard. Recognizing and experiencing the misfortunes of a family member being wrongfully incarcerated, she intends to guide and fight for those who have faced similar setbacks of inequity and injustice. In her free time, she enjoys going out with friends and bumping music while going on late night drives.

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