Sexual abuse, rape and sexual harassment are common in prison. The group facing the most sexual abuse in prisons is women. One study shows that prison staff commits 42% of the sexual abuse in prison against incarcerated people. About 49% of the cases involve allegations of verbal abuse of sexual nature. And around 11% of those involved threats and abuse of power by prison staff.
Now you can add another case to the list. Ray J. Garcia, the warden at Dublin Federal Correctional Institution, is accused of committing sexual abuse against incarcerated women while on duty.
According to the complaint, “Garcia knowingly had sexual contact with at least one inmate victim while she was incarcerated at FCI Dublin and was under his custodial, supervisory, or disciplinary authority.”
These charges come after a court convicted another employee at FCI Dublin earlier this year for similar charges.
Existing laws may not be enough to stop prison guards from sexually assaulting incarcerated women.
Prosecutors say that in 2019 and 2020, the warden trained new supervisors about programs, prison policies and protocol aimed at stopping sexual abuse in prisons like FCI Dublin. Around the same time, he was allegedly committing sexual assaults against women in his own facility.
This problem seems to be one occurring across the country. For instance, one survey shows that prisons have fired or terminated only 78% of staff accused of committing sexual violence against prisoners. And, even if that amount, officials only arrested, prosecuted or convicted around 45% of them.
But there is still a chance that PREA officials will address your complaint. Any victim of sexual abuse, prison rape or any offense of sexual nature in prison can file a complaint under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).
There are other rights that protect you against sexual assault and harassment in prison, too. You can also call the PREA hotline at 1-833-362-7732. If you want to report the abuse of a prisoner by prison staff, you can send your concerns to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Office of Internal Affairs, 320 First St NW, Room 600, Washington, DC 20534.