April 25th, 2024

Judge appoints special master to oversee California federal women’s prison after rampant abuse

By The Associated Press on March 15, 2024.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – A judge on Friday appointed a special master to oversee a federal prison dubbed the “rape club” in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The judge’s order encompasses the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, located about 21 miles (34 kilometers) east of Oakland.

A 2021 Associated Press investigation that found a culture of abuse and cover-ups at the prison brought increased scrutiny from Congress and the federal Bureau of Prisons.

The order is part of a federal lawsuit filed by eight inmates and the advocacy group California Coalition for Women Prisoners. They allege that sexual abuse and exploitation has not stopped despite the prosecution of the former warden and several former officers.

The Bureau of Prisons did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

The special master appointment follows days after the FBI searched the prison as part of an ongoing, years-long investigation into allegations of rampant sexual abuse of inmates. The current warden has also been ousted after new allegations that his staff retaliated against an inmate who testified against the prison, according to government court papers filed Monday.

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