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U.S.California Women’s Prison With Sex Abuse Culture Will Close

For years, the women housed at the low-security federal prison in Northern California said they were victims of sexual assault at the hands of staff.

There were harrowing accounts of rape, sexual touching and voyeurism at the Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin. Some inmates said they were forced to strip naked, while others recounted being made to serve as lookouts while staff members brutalized their cellmates.

The abuse was so persistent, one investigation found, that prison employees called the facility “the rape club.”

Top leaders were ousted and a former warden was even convicted. But the efforts proved so futile that the Bureau of Prisons announced Monday that it had no other choice but to close the only federal women’s prison west of the Rocky Mountains for good.

Colette Peters, director of the Bureau of Prisons, said the Dublin prison, located about 30 miles east of San Francisco, “is not meeting expected standards” and will shutter. About 600 women will be transferred to other federal facilities, while all employees will be reassigned.

Ms. Peters said in a statement that the bureau had taken important steps to address employee misconduct, but had not fully resolved the problems. The closure date was uncertain as of Monday.

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