Saturday, March 25, 2023

Advocates insist on the release of women jail torture victims

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – A national criminal justice advocacy group is pushing the Justice Department to support the release of women sexually abused by staff at a federal women’s prison in California.

The group, FAMM, also known as Family Against Mandatory Minimums, sent a letter Tuesday to Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, asking the Justice Department to file motions for compassionate release for those suffering in prison. Emphasized. This comes after Associated Press reports that revealed a toxic culture that enabled sexual abuse For years continuing prisoners at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, Calif., a women-only facility known as the “Rape Club” for those who know it.

The letter is the latest effort by advocacy groups and members of Congress to reduce oversight of the beleaguered federal prison system and push for action at the top levels of the Justice Department. Monaco and other Justice Department officials are prioritizing prison bureau reform and put in a new warden in Dublin. The former warden was arrested and charged with sexually abusing prisoners and forcing them to strip naked so that he could take photographs on his government-issued cell phone.

The group now wants Monaco to order the Bureau of Prisons and the US Attorney’s Office to support proposals for compassionate release for any victims that can be released from prison.

“None of these women were sentenced to sexual violence and torture,” FAMM President Kevin Ring said in a statement. “Yet we now know that they were trapped with their abusers, with no ability to defend themselves or escape, making their captivity an extraordinarily humiliating and terrifying experience.”

The former prison warden, Ray J Garcia, is one of five Dublin employees who have been accused of sexually assaulting prisoners since last June. Garcia is accused of molesting an inmate on several occasions from December 2019 to March 2020, and forcing him and another inmate to strip naked so that he can take pictures while circling. Investigators said they found the images on his government-issued cellphone. His lawyer has denied interview requests from the Associated Press.

Since March, nine other workers have been placed on administrative leave by the Bureau of Prisons.

“After failing to protect them, there’s little the BOP can do now to let these women go and begin to recover,” Ring said.

Associated Press’s reporting on the federal prison system reveals layer-by-layer abuseNeglect and leadership mistakes – including rampant sexual abuse by workers, severe staffing shortages, prisoner escapes and the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic – led directly to the agency’s director announcing his resignation earlier this year .

A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter. Monaco has said it is committed to holding Bureau of Prison staff accountable, including on criminal charges.


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