Today's Date: May 29, 2024
Black & Veatch Expands Business Structure to Meet Increasing Client Demand for Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions   •   Early Detection is Crucial in Scoliosis Management - National Scoliosis Center   •   Gundry MD Energy Renew to Support Your Energy For National Senior Health & Fitness Day   •   Infinite Electronics Announces Reforestation Initiative Resulting in Over 11,000 New Trees to Be Planted   •   Top Trends Coming out of the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas   •   Culhane Celebrates Second Decade With New Offices, Partners, Leadership Team Members   •   ArcBest Partners with Scholarship America to Offer Company's Inaugural Employee Dependent Scholarship Program   •   Financial Influencers Saw Double the Follower Growth Versus Peers on Instagram and YouTube Over the Past 12 Months   •   New AARP Poll: Women 50+ Say Social Security, Medicare, Healthcare Costs Will Influence 2024 Vote   •   Chicagoland Nonprofit Welcomes Criminologist, Author Discussing Scam Prevention for Seniors; Elderwerks presents a virtual prese   •   Onera Presents New Clinical Data featuring the Innovative Onera STS at SLEEP 2024   •   KIEHL'S PARTNERS WITH THE ALI FORNEY CENTER AND INTRODUCES KIEHL'S OPEN DOORS: A NEW PHILANTHROPIC PLATFORM SUPPORTING LGBTQIA2+   •   Flood Mitigation Industry Leader Floodproofing.com Announces Significant Expansion   •   Chloris Geospatial, the leading company in global forest carbon monitoring, welcomes the Cisco Foundation and NextSTEP as invest   •   Wall Street Veteran Launches Company to Provide Financial Wellness   •   Maternal Health Brand, Lansinoh, Introduces Ready-to-Freeze Padsicles For Cooling Postpartum Recovery, Eliminating The Need For   •   Cincinnati Children's to expand clinical trials with launch of Applied Gene and Cell Therapy Center   •   Santander Consumer Gives Back to the Dallas Community in 2024 by Investing in Seven Local Foundations and Community Service Init   •   Transact Campus CEO Nancy Langer Honored with Prestigious President's Award from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire   •   ARC Fertility Earns Dual Recognitions from Validation Institute for Cost-Savings and Outcomes in 2024
Bookmark and Share

Coalition Calls Attention To Prison Rape Problem

 WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union and a broad coalition of religious, political, human rights and civil rights groups have called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to immediately adopt a set of proposed standards aimed at eradicating sexual assault in the nation's prisons. 


The standards, issued over a year ago by the blue-ribbon, bipartisan National Prison Rape Elimination Commission (NPREC), would, if adopted by Holder, provide an important guide for corrections professionals to eliminate sexual abuse in their facilities and measure the effectiveness of their efforts. The coalition previously called on Holder to adopt the standards in a letter sent last week.  

"The commission's proposed standards merely put into words what the Constitution already requires," said Amy Fettig, staff attorney with the ACLU National Prison Project. "Prison officials have a constitutional obligation to provide prisoners with protection against violence and sexual abuse, and Attorney General Holder should implement the standards without delay." 

The proposed standards would also help hold corrections officials accountable by helping reform-minded officials indentify their facilities' strengths and weaknesses while ensuring that those who continue to deny the high incidence of sexual abuse of prisoners are no longer able to minimize the extent of the problem. 

The proposed standards also include important provisions which would make it easier for prison rape victims seeking their day in court to file lawsuits challenging their inhumane treatment. Since the 1996 passage of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), victims are forced to exhaust the internal complaint processes of their correctional institution before filing a lawsuit – processes that are often comprised of arbitrary rules that are impossible for prisoners to navigate.       

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 60,000 prisoners – one of every 20 – were sexually assaulted last year. The problem is even worse in juvenile institutions, where one in eight juvenile detainees were victims of sexual assault last year.    

"There is a deeply ingrained culture of acceptance when it comes to prison rape in too many prisons and jails across the country," said Margaret Winter, Associate Director of the ACLU National Prison Project, who testified before NPREC and served on a committee of experts that helped develop the standards. "The proposed standards are a milestone in the long battle to end a shameful era of rampant violence and abuse within our nation's prisons and there is no excuse for the Attorney General's delay in adopting them." 

The proposed standards were issued by NPREC after a comprehensive study of the issues surrounding prison rape, including site visits, public hearings and consultations with corrections experts, academics, survivors of sexual abuse in detention, health care providers and others. 

According to the coalition's letter, while many corrections leaders strongly support the proposed standards, some officials have exaggerated the cost of implementing the basic measures outlined in the proposed standards. Cash-strapped states like California and Oregon have already begun to implement the standards without substantial additional costs. And the cost of failing to address the problem of prison rape is huge – one state prison system, for example, recently paid $100 million after more than 10 years of expensive and protracted litigation, to settle lawsuits filed by women who were sexually abused by staff at a women's facility. 

The ACLU today is also calling on Congress to pass the Prison Abuse Remedies Act, which would eliminate barriers created by PLRA for all prisoners seeking protection of their rights in federal court.

"The Prison Abuse Remedies Act is currently sitting idle before Congress. Passage of this bill could protect millions of our nation's prisoners from unnecessary suffering," said Jennifer Bellamy, ACLU Legislative Counsel. "This country currently incarcerates over 2 million Americans in increasingly abusive conditions. We cannot continue to leave them without recourse. Congress should pass the Prison Abuse Remedies Act before this legislative session is up."  
 
Along with the ACLU, the letter sent to Holder urging adoption of the NPREC standards was signed by a wide array of organizations from across the political spectrum, including Prison Fellowship, the American Conservative Union, Focus on the Family, the Southern Baptist Convention, The Sentencing Project, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Immigrant Justice Center. 

A copy of the letter is available HERE.



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News