In The News

Bill to Address Sexual Assault in CA Prisons Advances

The Assembly Public Safety Committee approved SB 898, new legislation by Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, that would address the problem of guards sexually assaulting incarcerated people in California prisons and jails.

The introduction of SB 898 is in response to ongoing sexual abuse by prison staff at California women’s prisons. Last year, prison guard Gregory Rodriguez was charged with raping or sexual assaulting nearly two dozen women incarcerated at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla. And earlier this year, the federal women’s prison in Dublin, which was nicknamed the “rape club” because of pervasive assaults on women there, was closed.

Over the past year, the California Legislative Women’s Caucus (LWC), of which Sen. Skinner is chair, has shined a spotlight on sexual misconduct by prison staff and the retaliation against incarcerated survivors.

“No person, no matter what they did to be sentenced to prison or jail, should be forced to endure the brutal crime of rape or sexual assault — and then be punished for reporting it,” Sen. Skinner said. “SB 898 will provide whistleblower protections for survivors who have the courage to come forward, and will allow for a reduction in prison time for incarcerated individuals who were proven to have suffered from such assaults.”


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