"For years, Aimee Chavira suffered sexual abuse in a Dublin, Calif., federal prison by the officers responsible for protecting her.
Now, thanks to a program known as compassionate release, she is free. And her freedom could help pave a similar path for other people who experienced physical or sexual assault behind bars.
'We are very hopeful that this can lead to more women who were abused at Dublin getting out,' said Erica Zunkel, Chavira's lawyer.
Chavira, 44, has been home for less than two weeks after learning her request for compassionate release had been granted by a federal judge. Those petitions allow people in prison the chance to convince a court they should be freed because of extraordinary and compelling circumstances.
Typically, those cases involve terminal illness or other dire medical conditions. In April, the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a federal body that sets advisory guidelines, voted to expand the bases for compassionate release to include sexual and physical assault by prison workers."