Attorneys from RBGG and co-counsel at Rights Behind Bars, the California Coalition for Immigrant Justice, and the law firm Arnold & Porter, conducted a trial earlier this year on whether a federal court should appoint a Special Master to monitor the women’s prison in Dublin, California (FCI Dublin).  The court agreed that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) had not done enough to protect prisoners after years of sexual assaults by staff at the facility.  The court a Special Master–the first in BOP’s history–to oversee the facility in light of rampant staff abuse, retaliation, and medical neglect.  

In response, within days of the Special Master’s arrival, the BOP announced an emergency closure of the entire facility.  BOP’s sudden decision to clear out FCI Dublin’s over six hundred residents on a week’s notice has wrought chaos to a population that, as this Court has found, is already at risk of “imminent and serious medical injury, including lack of treatment for serious medical ailments, psychological distress, and risk of suicide,” among other harms.

This urgent crisis is entirely of BOP’s own making and the agency’s insistence that the closure was made in the ordinary course for proper reasons – when there was absolutely no sign that such a major action had been planned until BOP announced it a week after the appointment of the Special Master – already strained credulity.

As soon as the Court learned about what was happening, the Judge issued an order that people at Dublin needed to be evaluated for possible release and medically cleared before they could be transferred. 

On April 24, 2024 he Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee (Cory Booker) has  sent a letter to BOP which was co-signed by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), and Laphonza Butler (D-CA) in which they “vowed to exercise the oversight authority of the Judiciary Committee and the Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Counterterrorism to monitor the closure of FCI Dublin and seek details from BOP on their closure plans, including guidance for staff to ensure the safe transfer of individuals to other facilities.” The letter announcement is here and actual letter here 

The class action case remains in litigation, and Plaintiffs’ counsel seek ways to prevent further retaliation against Dublin survivors who have now been scattered to federal facilities around the country.