Woman who testified against FCI Dublin returns after judge's order

A woman who testified about the dire conditions at FCI Dublin and then was thrown in a punitive cell and transferred away against a federal judge's orders has now been returned to the all-women's prison in Alameda County, she told KTVU. 

"Just wanted you to know I am back at FCI Dublin," Rhonda Fleming emailed KTVU on Saturday. "I received a she-ro's welcome from the ladies in [the] unit." 

Fleming and her attorneys believe she was transferred to a prison in Los Angeles after she testified about the sexual abuses and retaliation suffered among women at FCI Dublin in January before U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is being asked to impose reforms on the scandal-plagued prison in a civil suit. 

Fleming has been a longtime vocal critic of FCI Dublin and has helped many incarcerated women file grievances and legal briefs during her time there. 

Gonazales Rogers had issued a court order banning any transfers of people who had testified.

And when she found out about Fleming's transfer, first reported by KTVU last week, Gonzalez Rogers told the Bureau of Prison management, during a surprise Feb. 14 visit to the prison, that she was going to hold them in contempt of court, and told them to bring Fleming back.

After her nine-hour visit, Gonzalez Rogers also told the BOP to fix the cold water in the showers and figure out how to clean up the asbestos and black mold problems, which the incarcerated women have been complaining about for years.

Fleming said her return to FCI Dublin is unheard of.

However, she wrote that prison officials are "up to the same old game of intimidation and in denial."

Fleming said upon her return, they "absolutely refused to give me my legal and personal property, which is being held in segregation, less than 50 yards from where I sit."

In addition, she said that she was initially only given one set of clothing from Friday to Tuesday, because of President's Day weekend. She said while this is typical, the prison management could have put extra clothes and an ample hygiene packet to last several days in her room before she arrived, knowing that it was a long holiday. 

In court filings, the BOP said that Fleming's hearing was "cleared through multiple layers of internal BOP internal review as well as BOP legal counsel and the US Attorney's Office," with no one raising any questions, including Fleming's lawyers. 

The BOP insisted that Fleming's transfer was done for "legitimate safety and security concerns" and was not done in retaliation after Fleming testified.

However, the BOP stated, "it is now clear that BOP misinterpreted this Court’s prior order." 

Lisa Fernandez is a reporter for KTVU. Email Lisa at lisa.fernandez@fox.com or call her at 510-874-0139. Or follow her on Twitter @ljfernandez