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Judge Will Name Special Master At Troubled U.S. Women's Prison

A special master will be appointed to oversee a troubled federal women’s prison in California known for sexual abuse against inmates, a judge ordered Friday. It is the first time the federal Bureau of Prisons has been subject to such oversight, reports the Associated Press. A 2021 Associated Press investigation that found a culture of abuse and cover-ups at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin brought scrutiny from Congress. The low-security prison and its minimum-security satellite camp, 21 miles east of Oakland, have more than 600 inmates. U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers called the prison “a dysfunctional mess.” She did not name a special master but wrote that the court would appoint one quickly.

“The situation can no longer be tolerated. The facility is in dire need of immediate change,” Rogers wrote, adding that the Bureau of Prisons has “proceeded sluggishly with intentional disregard of the inmates’ constitutional rights despite being fully apprised of the situation for years. The repeated installation of BOP leadership who fail to grasp and address the situation strains credulity.” The order was issued in 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 former officers. Dublin opened in 1974. It was converted in 2012 to one of six women's facilities in the federal prison system.


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