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Rally urges FCI Dublin inmates released as prison at center of sex abuse scandal closes

Protesters demand judge stop inmates transfer at Dublin women's prison
Protesters demand judge stop inmates transfer at Dublin women's prison 02:17

DUBLIN – Advocates rallied outside Federal Correctional Institution-Dublin on Friday, urging the release of inmates as the troubled prison known for rampant sexual abuse is set to close.

The group Dublin Prison Solidarity Coalition protested near the facility, along the route where buses have transferred inmates to other facilities.

On Monday, the federal Bureau of Prisons announced they would close FCI-Dublin following reform attempts.

"Despite these steps and resources, we have determined that FCI Dublin is not meeting expected standards and that the best course of action is to close the facility," Bureau of Prisons Director Colette Peters said. "This decision is being made after ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of those unprecedented steps and additional resources."

Advocates said "chaos unfolded" at the facility since the announcement, "traumatizing incarcerated people who have already been subjected to immense harm by the BOP, including rampant staff sexual abuse, retaliation, and medical neglect."

The group also claims that the BOP has proceeded with moving inmates despite an order from a federal judge that inmates need to be evaluated for release and be medically cleared before being transferred.

One of those who took part in the protest said she knows an inmate on the inside.

"She's called saying, 'They're screaming at them.' They're being asked to just up and pack all of their things into one small bag," the activist said. "It just feels like they're being punished after they have already been victimized. And of course the unknown, they feel like in there they don't have anyone advocating for them. "

The prison, which has been dubbed the "rape club", has been at the center of a years-long investigation. Since 2021, at least eight employees, including a former warden, have been charged with sexually abusing inmates.

Five employees have pleaded guilty. Two were convicted at trial, including former warden Ray Garcia. The case against the eighth employee is pending.

At the time of the closure announcement, FCI Dublin was housing about 600 inmates.

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