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The DOJ on Thursday announced that it is adopting national standards to eliminate the scourge and shameful practice of prison rape--standards that were mandated when Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) in 2003. By law, the standards were supposed to have been released no later than June 2010. While grateful that standards were finally adopted and are now in effect, Prison Fellowship and Justice Fellowship argue that the DOJ weakened the standards proposed by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission in several significant ways. In addition, the department has decided that immigration facilities do not have to comply with the new standards.
"It is outrageous that Attorney General Holder has decided not to require immigration facilities to comply with these standards," says Justice Fellowship president Pat Nolan, who served on the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission established by Congress. "It was clearly the intent of Congress that every person in confinement in the U.S. would be protected from being raped. Holder's decision leaves those in Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities, many of whom are not accused of a crime, at the mercy of sexual predators. Shame on Mr. Holder and Ms. Napolitano for allowing this to occur."
No one at the Department of Justice will pay a price for being at least two years late in adopting the prison rape standards, Nolan says, but in the meantime, an estimated 120,000 men, women and teens have been sexually assaulted without the protections earlier adoption of the standards would have provided.
The standards will immediately apply to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. States will have one year to decide if they, too, will adopt them. California, Oregon and Massachusetts have already adopted these new standards.
Source: Charisma News | MICHELLE FARMER