Butler Joins Congressman DeSaulnier and Senator Durbin in Demanding Answers from Bureau of Prisons about Abuse at FCI Dublin

Washington, D.C. – This week, Senator Laphonza Butler (D-CA), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) led a letter to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) requesting information about the botched closure of FCI Dublin, mistreatment of inmates while they were being transferred to other facilities, and BOP’s management of investigations into the staff-on-inmate abuse at FCI Dublin and other federal BOP facilities.

“We write to express our concerns regarding the recent closure and transfer of adults in custody (AICs) from the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facility Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Dublin. To ensure that the constitutional rights of AICs are not further violated and that oversight into the abuses at the facility continues in earnest, we request information about BOP’s plans to close the facility and the oversight of that process, and your agency’s efforts to investigate staff-on-AIC abuses at FCI Dublin and other federal BOP facilities.”

The members are seeking answers related to the decision to close the facility.

“In the weeks since BOP announced the closure of FCI Dublin on April 15, we have heard from former AICs who were recently released, family of AICs who have since been transferred from FCI Dublin, and advocates—all of whom have told us about shocking abuses that allegedly took place during the mass AIC transfers. The alleged abuses, some of which are described in the Temporary Restraining Order filed on April 19, include whistleblower retaliation, inhumane treatment, and withholding of necessary medical care. These abuses have also been widely reported in the press.[1] This level of disregard for human dignity cannot be tolerated. Additionally, the frantic nature of the closure of FCI Dublin reflects a lack of adequate planning and proper safeguards to protect the rights of AICs.”

The members have also asked that BOP provide answers on their efforts to investigate the reports of abuse.

“Further, as you know, there has been a tragic and unacceptable history of long-term abuse of AICs at FCI Dublin. Up until weeks before the closure of FCI Dublin, BOP leadership and their counsel repeatedly asserted that conditions and care at FCI Dublin were constitutionally adequate, and repeatedly denied allegations of staff misconduct and retaliation. On April 5, Judge Gonzalez Rogers appointed Special Master Wendy Still, the first such appointment in the history of federal prisons in the United States, to oversee FCI Dublin’s compliance with federal law and constitutional requirements. We share a belief in the importance of Special Master Still’s mandate and are concerned that the closure of the prison will delay or deny much-needed accountability.”

The members were joined by Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) and Representatives Cori Bush (MO-01), Judy Chu (CA-28), Anna Eshoo (CA-16), John Garamendi (CA-08), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Ted Lieu (CA-36), Zoe Lofgren (CA-18), Doris Matsui (CA-07), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Adam Schiff (CA-30), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), and Eric Swalwell (CA-14).

Full text of the letter can be found HERE.

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[1]  Sam Levin, “US Federal Women’s Prison Plagued by Rampant Staff Sexual Abuse to Close,” The Guardian, April 15, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/apr/15/california-womens-prison-closing-sexual-abuse; Ericka Cruz Guevarra et al., “Infamous Women’s Prison Plagued by Sex Abuse Closes,” KQED, April 17, 2024, https://www.kqed.org/news/11983151/infamous-womens-prison-plagued-by-sex-abuse-closes; Lisa Fernandez and Cristina Rendon, “Powerless in Prison: The Shutdown of FCI Dublin,” KTVU FOX 2, May 5, 2024, https://www.ktvu.com/news/powerless-in-prison-the-shutdown-of-fci-dublin; Lisa Fernandez, “FCI Dublin Transfers Complain of Poor Treatment, Retaliation at Other Prisons,” KTVU FOX 2, May 7, 2024, https://www.ktvu.com/news/fci-dublin-transfers-complain-of-poor-treatment-retaliation-at-other-prisons

 

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