The Latest: California wardens retire after abuse claims

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the retirement of two California prison wardens amid prison abuse allegations (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

The wardens at California’s two major women’s prisons have retired amid allegations of pervasive problems at both institutions, including sexual abuse of female inmates at one prison and persistent suicides at the second.

A corrections department spokesman tells The Associated Press on Thursday that the wardens chose retirement after the department secretary determined a leadership change was needed.

Don Specter, director of the nonprofit Prison Law Office, says attorneys working for inmates found serious problems at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla.

They include guards verbally abusing and intimidating prisoners, failing to protect them from other prisoners, and sexual contact in return for favorable treatment.

He calls the state’s largest women’s prison, with more than 2,800 inmates, “a very troubled place.”

Meanwhile, a senator wants the state auditor to investigate suicides at the California Institution for Women, which has nearly 1,900 inmates in Corona.

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