Abuse and misconduct has grown so “rampant” at a San Francisco Bay Area federal women’s prison that new officials struggle to implement reforms, according to witnesses testifying in a class action brought by incarcerated people demanding that the government stop the abuse. The organization California Coalition for Women Prisoners sued the Federal Bureau of Prisons in August 2023, claiming it enabled a pattern of “rampant” sexual abuse of incarcerated people at the Federal Correctional Institute in Dublin, east of San Francisco, Courthouse News reports.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons manages the low-security facility, which houses about 712 people, including women and transgender and non-binary people. The plaintiffs say they endured abuse and exploitation by facility staff, including sexual assault, coercion, voyeurism, drugging and abuse during medical exams. Some reported being forced to strip for or perform sexual acts for prison staff. Others say they were harassed or raped. Despite being aware of the violence and harassment for decades, the plaintiffs say, the prison bureau has failed to take action. U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on Wednesday began conducting a three-day evidentiary hearing, starting with witnesses for the federal government.