The Justice Department takes very seriously all allegations of sexual misconduct within our
nation's Federal correctional facilities. Every allegation is reviewed and, where warranted,
referred for criminal prosecution. In fact, 10 prison employees were disciplined last year for
sexual misconduct, and 7 were criminally prosecuted.
After receiving allegations of a 1995 sexual misconduct incident at the Federal Detention Center
(FDC) in Dublin, California, the Justice Department's Inspector General's Office launched an
extensive investigation. It interviewed numerous witnesses and reviewed all relevant documents.
The Investigation did not establish sufficient evidence to prove under the standards for
prosecution that any specific individual violated federal criminal law. Both the U.S. Attorney's
Office in San Francisco and the Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. concurred.
The investigation revealed that the medical evidence was inconsistent with the egregious
allegations and there was not sufficient independent eyewitness corroboration. There was also
conflicting and ambiguous evidence on key issues of fact. Therefore, the Justice Department
decided not to prosecute.
The 30,000 federal correctional professionals at more than 90 Federal prisons protect the public
by confining more than 100,000 inmates across the country. The vast majority of prison officials
carry out their responsibilities faithfully, under difficult circumstances. But, when any prison
employee engages in misconduct, the Justice Department does not hesitate to take action.
In the Federal Bureau of Prisons, sexual contact between inmates and between staff and inmates
has always been prohibited. When sexual abuse of an inmate occurs, disciplinary action is taken
against those staff members or inmates who committed it.
Over the past decade the Bureau has taken additional steps to eliminate sexual abuse in its
facilities, by training all staff on how to prevent it, by conveying the severity of the consequences
for engaging in it, and by informing inmates on how to report it.
In April 1997, the Bureau approved a new plan to prevent sexual abuse and assault of inmates. In
January 1998, it revised its policy to include procedures for recognizing, preventing and
confidentially reporting the sexual abuse of inmates by staff. By the end of Spring 1998, every
Bureau employee will have received initial training to recognize, prevent and report sexual abuse
of inmates. In addition, the Bureau has developed an inmate awareness program, including procedures
for reporting sexual abuse by staff.
To resolve several issues raised in the Dublin litigation, a settlement was reached incorporating
many of the proactive measures which the Federal Bureau of Prisons had already committed to undertake.