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.
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!
- Please sign our petition, here.
- Elevate the Conversation. Please write a Letter to the Editor or Tweet Your Governor, information below.
- 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
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
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:
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:
--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
--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:
North Carolina Letter
New Jersey Letter
New Mexico Letter
New York Letter
South Carolina Letter
West Virginia 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
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.
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
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
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