Federal Board of Prisons Seeks Dismissal of Lawsuit Amid Allegations of Sexual Abuse and Neglect at FCI Dublin

via wikipedia.org

By Aria Jalan

DUBLIN, CA – The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has filed a motion to dismiss the class-action lawsuit, California Coalition for Women Prisoners et al. v. United States Bureau of Prisons et al., which seeks accountability for widespread abuses at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Dublin.

A number of prison officials—including the pastor and warden—were or are being prosecuted for sexual abuse of the women prisoners.

The lawsuit, representing individuals formerly incarcerated at FCI Dublin, seeks to address systemic issues including staff sexual abuse, retaliation against whistleblowers, and severe medical neglect, according to Courtney Hanson, from the California Coalition for Women’s Prisoners.

The filing comes in the wake of Court-Appointed Special Master Wendy Still’s damning report on conditions at FCI Dublin. according to Hanson and Phoebe Mesard of Rights Behind Bars.

Judge Gonzalez Rogers appointed Still to investigate after condemning the facility as “a dysfunctional mess” with an urgent need for reform, said the coalition.

Despite ongoing criticism and calls for reform, BOP’s response has been characterized as “sluggishness and disregard for inmates’ constitutional rights,” as noted by Judge Rogers.

The closure of FCI Dublin shortly after Still’s team arrived, coupled with the secretive relocation of inmates under poor conditions, sparked further outrage and demands for transparency, said Hanson.

Critics have charged Still’s report, detailing findings from her investigation, remains unpublished, prompting concerns that BOP’s latest motion is aimed at suppressing critical information rather than addressing the underlying issues.

The same critics argue BOP’s actions reflect a pattern of evading accountability, and Kendra Drysdale, a member of the Dublin Prison Solidarity Coalition (DPSC) and a former inmate, emphasized the agency’s history of silencing inmates and downplaying systemic problems.

“The closure of Dublin and the subsequent relocation were not acts of transparency or accountability,” Drysdale remarked, adding, “They were calculated moves to obscure the truth and avoid scrutiny.”

Emily Shapiro, representing the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and also a member of DPSC, expressed grave concerns over the implications of BOP’s motion.

“If successful, BOP’s maneuver to dismiss the lawsuit will shield them from scrutiny and perpetuate a cycle of abuse and neglect,” Shapiro asserted, insisting, “Survivors of abuse and those seeking justice will once again be left without recourse, reinforcing the lack of accountability within our federal prison system.”

Advocates and lawmakers are urging a comprehensive review of federal prison policies and practices to prevent further abuses and ensure the safety and rights of incarcerated individuals.

As the legal battle unfolds, Hanson and Mesard suggest it marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing struggle for justice within U.S. correctional facilities.

About The Author

Aria Jalan is a second year Science and Technology studies and Computer Science double major at the University of California, Davis. She hopes to pursue law after her undergraduate degree and eventually go on to become a judge. Her goal at Vanguard is to write and share the stories of those cases that normally don't get talked about. Along with school and work she likes to dance, hang out with friends, and travel all across the world!

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