In a sudden and surprising Monday morning announcement, the federal Bureau of Prisons announced they’re immediately closing the FCI Dublin women’s prison, and they’re already transferring the inmates out.

The Federal Correctional Institute in Dublin (FCI Dublin), 20 miles east of Oakland, saw its reputation change from being considered one of “America's 10 Cushiest Prisons” to being known as the “rape club” when a stomach-churning set of sexual abuse claims from the women incarcerated there came to light in the summer of 2022. Eight officers have been charged with sex crimes at the all-women’s prison, including the warden and even the chaplain, and seven of those men charged have been found guilty and shipped off to prison themselves.

Despite those bad actors being taken out, the FBI still raided the prison last month, so clearly there were ongoing issues.

Now we get the stunning Monday morning news that the federal Bureau of Prisons is closing the FCI Dublin prison immediately, according to KTVU. That station reports that buses were spotted in the parking lot there Monday morning, indicating that inmate transfers are likely already underway. KTVU adds that all the women incarcerated there are expected to be transferred out by Friday.

“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 in a statement to the Associated Press. “This decision is being made after ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of those unprecedented steps and additional resources.”

But the suddenness of the thing has obviously unnerved the prisoners and their families. "My niece just called me this morning," an aunt of an incarcerated woman told KTVU. "She is petrified because she doesn't know where she is going." That prisoner was expected to be released this month, but now it’s unclear what will happen with her.

The AP adds that there are only six federal women’s prisons in the country, so it’s likely that the some 640 prisoners will be transferred quite a distance away. KTVU has sources within the prison speculating that they could be transferred as far away as Oklahoma and Illinois. The Bay Area News Group also obtained a statement from the Bureau of Prisons saying the women would be transferred “as close to their release locations as possible.”

Last month’s raid resulted in the ouster of yet another FCI Dublin warden (the facility’s fifth in just the last three years) and the appointment of a special master to oversee operations. There are more than 60 lawsuits ongoing from women incarcerated there alleging sexual abuse by guards and staff.

"The evil is beyond comprehension," previously transferred Dublin prisoner Rhonda Fleming told KTVU. "God will deal severely with these prison officials."

Bay Area News Group also points out that supposedly no current staff will be losing their jobs, and the Bureau of prisons added in their statement that “the closure of the institution may be temporary but certainly will result in a mission change.” It’s highly unclear what they mean by “mission change,” though KTVU has some sources on the inside saying that the facility could be reopened as a men’s prison.

Related: FBI Raids Dublin Women's Prison, Warden and Three Others Ousted [SFNews]

Image: Jesstess87 via Wikimedia Commons