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FCI Dublin issues, legal teams demand systemic changes amidst sexual abuse testimonies

06 Jan 2024, Jail News, by

Legal teams representing sexual abuse survivors at FCI Dublin held a press conference emphasizing the need for systemic changes.

FCI Dublin issues, legal teams demand systemic changes amidst sexual abuse testimonies - Inmate Lookup

After three days of testimony from incarcerated survivors of sexual abuse at the Federal Correctional Institution Dublin (FCI Dublin), legal representatives of the victims conducted a press conference outside the U.S. District Court in Oakland on Friday.

Oren Nimni, the litigation director for Rights Behind Bars, a legal advocacy organization, stated that the depth of the rot surpasses any individual bad actor. He emphasized that what is being conveyed and will persist is the existence of a systemic problem at FCI Dublin, necessitating a systemic solution.

In August 2023, a federal class action lawsuit was filed against the Bureau of Prisons, FCI Dublin officials, and various officers. Rights Behind Bars, the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice, and the law firm Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP are actively representing the plaintiffs, who are survivors of abuse and the California Coalition for Women Prisoners.

In brief, the legal teams have sought preliminary injunctive relief to address the ongoing emergency conditions at FCI Dublin. This week, U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers listened to the plaintiffs’ testimony from Wednesday to Friday and will now determine whether to issue immediate changes.

According to the complaint, officers, supervisors, and leadership throughout FCI Dublin were aware of the ongoing sexual abuse at the facility and not only failed to prevent it but also took actions that allowed the abuse to persist. The complaint describes a system of protection, conspiracy, and obstruction that enables the continuation of the ‘rape club.’

Jane Courant of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) expressed her concerns during the press conference. She mentioned that although FCI Dublin interim Warden Arthur Dulgov discussed prison changes in the courtroom, such as providing inmates with the ability to report confidentially or access health care, the CCWP team still receives reports from inmates of ongoing abuse and retaliation.

The complaint states that there are around 220 members at various correctional facilities, including FCI Dublin, within CCWP. According to Courant, in March, inmates informed CCWP that they were suddenly being denied access to essential prescription medication, which could potentially be life-saving.

Courant criticized the new interim warden, Dulgov, for praising regulations and laws, claiming he lacks awareness of the actual situation. Many testifying individuals stated that the situation has worsened, emphasizing increased suffering due to retaliation.

FCI Dublin, a low-security federal prison for female offenders, currently houses over 700 inmates, as per the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. It gained national attention in 2021 due to sexual abuse and retaliation by the facility staff. Warden Ray Garcia, who sexually abused a ward, received a prison sentence of almost six years for his actions towards three female inmates.

Furthermore, additional officers and staff, totaling eight individuals, are facing charges of sexual misconduct for incidents that occurred between 2019 and 2021. The complaint suggests additional charges are likely, as plaintiffs have named others for abuse that took place as recently as last year.

Former inmate Robin Lucas, addressing the press conference after listening to testimonies, exposed a longstanding pattern of abuse at FCI Dublin.

Reflecting on her experience three decades ago, Lucas expressed dismay at the continued prevalence of these issues. She shared her disappointment, stating that she anticipated positive changes after raising her concerns 30 years ago, yet found herself in court, hearing the same distressing narratives.