NATIONAL WEEK OF ACTION - May 12-16, 2014

No Excuses:  A Decade and Waiting, It's Time To Implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act

Please Urge Your State to Comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act – The Safety of our Youth Depends on it


 

What is PREA?

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is a federal statute focused on sexual assault and victimization in juvenile facilities, prisons, jail, lockups, and other detention facilities.  The goal of PREA is to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse in detention and correctional facilities.

Who is affected and why is this important?

An estimated 4.4% of prison inmates and 3.1% of jail inmates reported experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another inmate or facility staff in a 12 month period. Nationwide, these percentages suggest that approximately 88,500 adults held in prisons and jails had been sexually victimized in a one year time period.[i]

Even though only 1%[ii] of all jail inmates were youth under 18 in 2005 and 2006, they accounted for 21% and 13% of the victims of inmate-on-inmate sexual violence in jails respectively.[iii]

To “protect” the youth in adult facilities, some jails and prisons keep youth in solitary isolation for upwards of 23 hours a day.
Due to the extreme conditions of confinement and exposure to adult jails and prisons, youth have the highest suicide rates of all inmates in jails

Youth are 19 times more likely to commit suicide in jail than their counterparts in the general population and 36 times more likely to commit suicide in an adult jail than in a juvenile detention facility.[iv]

In a recent BJS study, two-thirds of youth ages 16 and 17 in adult jails and prisons who had been victimized reported being victimized more than once by other inmates and three-quarters were victimized by staff more than once.

No Excuses

Jails and prisons are simply not equipped to protect youth from the dangers of adult jails and prisons. PREA recognizes the inherent dangers of placing youth in adult facilities therefore the PREA Youth Inmate Standard (§115.14) requires that:

The youthful inmate standard requires agencies must do their best in order to avoid placing youth in isolation to comply with this provision and must give youth daily large-muscle exercise and any legally required special education services, and must provide them access to other programs and work opportunities to the extent possible.

No youth under 18 can be placed in a housing unit where contact will occur with adult inmates in a common space, shower area, or sleeping quarters.

Outside of housing units, agencies must either maintain ‘‘sight and sound separation’’—i.e., preventing adult inmates from seeing or communicating with youth—or provide direct staff supervision when the two are together.

The PREA Resource Center Recommends that:

States change the policies or laws in order to reduce the number of youthful offenders housed in adult facilities.[v]

States make agreements with youth facilities in order to house youthful inmates in juvenile facilities.[vi]

By May 15th, Governors will have to certify whether the state is in compliance with PREA, or make assurances that federal dollars will be used to come into compliance. While we suspect many states will not certify full compliance, our goal is to keep shining a light on the prevalence of sexual abuse of youth in adult jails and prisons and continue to call on the full removal of youth in adult facilities.


[i] Beck, A.J., Harrison, P.M., Berzofsky, M., Casper, R., Krebs, C. (2010, August). Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2008-2009. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
[ii] Snyder, H.N., Sickmund, M. (2006). Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
[iii] Beck, A.J., Harrison, P.M., Adams, D.B. (2007, August). Sexual Violence Reported by Correctional Authorities, 2006. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Beck, A.J., Harrison, P.M., (2006, July). Sexual Violence Reported by Correctional Authorities, 2005. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
[iv]Calculations by comparing suicide rates published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control. Mumola, C.J. (2005, August). Suicide and Homicide in State Prisons and Local Jails. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
[v] National PREA Resource Center (2013). Youthful Inmate Implementation.
[vi] National PREA Resource Center (2013). Youthful Inmate Implementation.

Take Action Now!

  1. Please sign our petition, here.
  2. Elevate the Conversation. Please write a Letter to the Editor or Tweet Your Governor, information below.
  3. On Thursday, May 15, 2014 to mark the certification date of this legislation, share these sample messages over Facebook and Twitter.

PREA Media Materials

CFYJ Press Release
CFYJ Fact Sheet
CFYJ Infographic (download here)
CFYJ Letter to the Editor

Social Media

FACEBOOK:

10 years ago, President Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act to end sexual abuse behind bars. Statistics show that youth in adult jails and prisons are significantly more likely than adults to be victims of sexual violence. Join us during the “There’s No Excuse” national week of action to end prison rape #ImplementPREA http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/preac.html

On any given day, over 10,000 youth are confined in adult jails and prisons. Research shows that youth are not safe in adult facilities and are at the greatest risk of sexual victimization. Youth are 36X more likely to commit suicide in an adult jail than in a juvenile detention facility. Take Action during the “There’s No Excuse” week of action! #ImplementPREA. http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/preac.html

Prison rape is no laughing matter:  More than 2million people behind bars including the 100K youth in jails & prisons are at risk of sexual abuse every day. The Prison Rape Elimination Act was passed to end sexual abuse behind bars. Its time for Governors to ensure that PREA is implemented in every state. Learn more and take action: http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/preac.html #ImplementPREA

TWITTER:

Prison Rape Elimination Act was passed to end sexual abuse behind bars. Act now to #endprisonrape http://tinyurl.com/lcr7jyb

PROBLEM: Jails & prisons are not equipped to protect youth from dangers of adult facilities. SOLUTION: #ImplementPREA  http://tinyurl.com/lcr7jyb

PREA would help the more than 2million people behind bars including the 100K youth in jails & prisons every day http://tinyurl.com/lcr7jyb #ImplementPREA

PREA will ensure states will work to detect, prevent & respond to sexual abuse in jails and prisons #ImplementPREA http://tinyurl.com/lcr7jyb

Theres No Excuse! Protect Children from Rape in Adult Jails & Prisons. Take Action TODAY: http://tinyurl.com/lcr7jyb #ImplementPREA

No More Excuses! To protect youth from dangers of adult facilities we must #ImplementPREA Today! #youthjustice

Implementing PREA will save lives. Join our efforts to protect youth behind bars #youthjustice #endprisonrape http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/preac.html

We know prison rape doesn't have to be something that is inevitable. #endprisonrape #ImplementPREA http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/preac.html

Governor Twitter Handles

Tweet the Governor of your state and ask if they are in compliance with PREA:

States Governors Twitter Handles
AL Robert Bentley @GovernorBentley
AK Sean Parnell @AKGovParnell
AZ Jan Brewer @GovBrewer
AR Mike Beebe @GovBeebeMedia
CA Jerry Brown @JerryBrownGov
CO John Hickenlooper @hickforco
CT Dan Malloy @GovMalloyOffice
DE Jack Markell @GovernorMarkell
DC Vincent Gray @mayorvincegray
FL Rick Scott @FLGovScott
GA Nathan Deal @GovernorDeal
HI Neil Abercrombie @neilabercrombie
ID Butch Otter @ButchOtter
IL Pat Quinn @GovernorQuinn
IN Mike Pence @GovPenceIN
IA Terry Brandstad @TerryBranstad
KS Sam Brownback @govsambrownback
KY Steve Beshear @GovSteveBeshear
LA Bobby Jindal @BobbyJindal
ME Paul LePage @Governor_LePage
MD Martin O'Malley @GovernorOMalley
MA Deval Patrick @MassGovernor
MI Rick Snyder @onetoughnerd
MN Mark Dayton @GovMarkDayton
MS Phil Bryant @GovernorBentley
MO Jay Nixon @GovJayNixon
MT Steve Bullock @GovernorBullock
NE Dave Heineman @Gov_Heineman
NV Brian Sandoval @BrianSandoval
NH Maggie Hassan @GovernorHassan
NJ Chris Christie @GovChristie
NM Susana Martinez @Gov_Martinez
NY Andrew Cuomo @NYGovCuomo
NC Pat McCrory @PatMcCroryNC
ND Jack Dalrymple @DalrympleforGov
OH John Kasich @JohnKasich
OK Mary Fallin @GovMaryFallin
OR John Kitzhaber @GovKitz
PA Tom Corbett @GovernorCorbett
RI Lincoln Chafee @LincolnChafee
SC Nikki Haley @nikkihaley
SD Dennis Daugaard @SDGovDaugaard
TN Bill Haslam @BillHaslam
TX Rick Perry @GovernorPerry
UT Gary Herbert @GovHerbert
VT Peter Shumlin @GovPeterShumlin
VA Terry McAuliffe @GovernorVA
WA Jay Inslee @JayInslee
WV Earl Ray Tomblin @GovTomblin
WI Scott Walker @GovWalker
WY Matt Mead @GovMattMead

Additional PREA Resources:

PREA Panel with the American Bar Association:

On September 24, 2013, CFYJ along with the American Bar Association hosted a panel to commemorate the 10th anniversary of PREA becoming law, "Protecting the Incarcerated Client from Sexual Violence under the Prison Rape Elimination Act".

The observance featured a panel of experts that discussed DOJ standards and regulations designed to prevent victimization, ways to ensure states are implementing the regulations, as well as discussed tools to address prison rape and victimization. Panelists included: Hon. Bobby Scott, United States House of Representatives; Hon. Reggie Walton, United States District Court for the District of Columbia; Professor Brenda Smith, American University, Washington College of Law; T.J. Parsell, Author, Filmmaker and Human Rights Activist; Mary Lou Leary, and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.

Video highlights of the panel can be found, here.

 

Statements from Members of Congress Commemorating 10 year Anniversary:

Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)

Rep. Bobby Scott (VA)

 

Sample Social Media Messages:

Facebook

--Ten years ago, the House passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act to end sexual abuse behind bars. Statistics show that youth in adult jails and prisons are significantly more likely than adults to be the victims of sexual violence. Take Action to end sexual violence of kids behind bars: http://ht.ly/n3vyH

--Ten years ago, the House passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act to end sexual abuse behind bars. What else has occurred in the last ten years? The invention of the iPhone, the invasion of Iraq, the invention of first cancer vaccine, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security #Howlongwillittaketoendprisonrape Take Action: http://ht.ly/n3vyH

 

Twitter

--Youth who are held in adult facilities are at the greatest risk of rape and sexual victimization. #endprisonrape http://ht.ly/n3vyH

--10 yrs ago, Prison Rape Elimination Act to end sexual abuse behind bars was passed. #Howlongwillittaketoendprisonrape http://ht.ly/n3vyH

--Every year 100,000 youth are in adult jails and prisons.

There's No Excuse! Protect Children from Rape in Adult Jails and Prisons. Visit here to see what you can do today http://tinyurl.com/c5ycxk5 #ImplementPREA

 

PREA Case Profiles:

Case Profile- Antonio Beale

Case Profile- Andrew Bibaud

Case Profile- Jonathan Sawyer

Case Profile- Burt Smith

Case Profile- Ameen Thomas

Background Materials on PREA:

DOJ federal register notice with proposed regulations implementing PREA
(Comments were due April 4, 2011)

DOJ federal register notice on NPREC standards
(Comments were due May 10, 2010)

National Prison Rape Elimination Commission Report - June 2009

 

National Sign on Letters in Support of the Implementation of PREA:

Letter to Attorney General (2013)

 

State Sign on Letters in Support of the Implementation of PREA:

Alabama Letter

Arkansas Letter

Arizona Letter

California Letter

Colorado Letter

Connecticut Letter

Delaware Letter

Florida Letter

Georgia Letter

Idaho Letter

Illinois Letter

Indiana Letter

Iowa Letter

Louisiana Letter

Maryland letter

Michigan Letter

Missouri Letter

Mississippi Letter

North Carolina Letter

Nebraska Letter

New Jersey Letter

New Mexico Letter

Nevada Letter

New York Letter

Ohio Letter

Oklahoma Letter

Oregon Letter

Pennsylvania Letter

South Carolina Letter

Texas Letter

Utah Letter

Vermont Letter

Virginia Letter

Washington Letter

Wisconsin Letter

West Virginia Letter

Wyoming Letter

 

Organization Sign on Letters in Support of the Implementation of PREA:

Advocacy for Justice and Peace Committee of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Advocates for Children and Youth

AIDS Foundation of Chicago and HIV Prevention Justice Alliance

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Civil Liberties Union

American Indian Affairs

American Probation and Parole Association

American Psychiatric Association

Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus

Augustinian Defenders of the Rights of the Poor

Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth

Campaign for Youth Justice

Catholic Housing Services-Village Spirit Center

Center for Media Justice

Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions

Center on Children and Families

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Children’s Hope and Voice

Children's Hope and Voice, Inc.

Citiwide Harm Reduction

Civic Center Barrio Housing Corp.

Cleveland Nonviolence Network

Coalition For Juvenile Justice

Coalition on Human Needs

Community Action Partnership

Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance

Correctional Education Association

Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators

CURE

Daughters of Charity Interprovincial House

Death Penalty Alternatives for Arizona

Disciples Justice Action Network

Every Child Matters Coalition of Chemung County, New York

Family of Woodstock Inc.

First Focus

Fortune Society

Franciscan Action Network

Franciscans for Justice

Global Justice Institute

Global Justice Institute, Metropolitan Community Churches

Gloria Dei Step Up Center

Grace House for Women

Human Rights Project for Girls

Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Justice Policy Institute

Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC)

Juvenile Law Center

Kansas City Criminal Justice Task Force

Mental Health America

Mercy Housing and Shelter Corp.

Metropolitan Community Churches

Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency

Missouri Youth Services Institute

Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa

National Alliance to End Sexual Violence

National Association for Children's Behavioral Health

National Association of Counties

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

National Black Law Students Association

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Center for Youth Law

National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

National Collaboration for Youth

National Council of Jewish Women

National Crittenton Foundation

National Disability Rights Network

National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

National Immigrant Justice Center

National Indian Child Welfare Association

National Juvenile Defender Center

National Juvenile Detention Association

National Juvenile Justice Network

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

National Network for Youth

National Organization of Asian Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence

National Partnership for Juvenile Services

National Women Law Partnership

New Orleans Interfaith Worker Justice

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Nisaa Africa Women’s Project

Peace Alliance

Pennsylvania Council of Churches

Pretrial Justice Institute

Public Justice Center

Save the Children

Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Central Leadership

Siuslaw Area Partnership to Prevent Substance Abuse

Somerville Homeless Coalition

Southern Center for Human Rights

Southern Poverty Law Center

Southwest Key Programs, Inc.

St Cyprians Justice & Peace Ministry

Student Peace Alliance

Texans Care for Children

The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

The Equity Project

The Humanitarian Alliance

The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

The Sentencing Project

Transgender Law Center

Trevor Project

Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the B.V.M. - US Province

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

W. Haywood Burns Institute

Wisconsin Council on Children and Families

Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

Youth Advocate Programs

Youth Law Center

Youth Represent