Prison Rape Elimination Act

Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2003 to address the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in our nation’s detention centers. In 2012, the Department of Justice announced long-awaited rules for complying with the law, representing the first time that the federal government has issued national standards to help end sexual abuse in prisons, jails and youth detention centers. Unfortunately the DOJ rules do not apply to immigration detention facilities. Rather, the Obama administration has tasked the Department of Homeland Security – which has a dismal record of policing its immigration jails and facilities – with making its own rules for complying with PREA.

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After 42 Years in Solitary, Herman Wallace Dies a Free Man

After 42 Years in Solitary, Herman Wallace Dies a Free Man

By Helen Vera, National Prison Project Fellow, ACLU at 1:29pm
Herman Wallace died this morning. He was 71 years old and debilitated by terminal liver cancer. Three days ago, he went home to New Orleans for the first time since he was a young man. He has spent virtually all of the last 42 years locked alone in a room the size of a parking space.
What Happened to My Son Should Never Happen Again

What Happened to My Son Should Never Happen Again

By Grace Bauer, Interim Executive Director, Justice for Families at 4:02pm

Imagine you have a 13-year-old son. And now imagine the worst that could happen to him. I'm a mother, and I've lived through it.

When my son Corey was 13, he was raped by another young prisoner. Cell guards stood by and watched, taking bets…

Aaron Hernandez Is Now Locked Alone Inside a Room the Size of a Parking Spot

Aaron Hernandez Is Now Locked Alone Inside a Room the Size of a Parking Spot

By Hilary Krase, ACLU National Prison Project & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:02pm

Following his well-publicized arrest, former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez is now living...

Justice Department Takes First Steps to Protect Kids from Rape

Justice Department Takes First Steps to Protect Kids from Rape

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 11:41am

In 2003, Congress took an important first step in addressing a national tragedy: epidemic levels of rape and sexual abuse in our nation’s prisons, jails and youth detention centers. The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), passed unanimously…

New Federal Standards Offer Unprecedented Protections to LGBTI Prisoners

New Federal Standards Offer Unprecedented Protections to LGBTI Prisoners

By Leslie Cooper, LGBT Project at 2:25pm

Yesterday the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the long-awaited National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape. These standards – the first of their kind—create an historic opportunity to put an end to the epidemic of sexual abuse in prison, which disproportionately affects prisoners who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or have intersex conditions (LGBTI).

One Year Longer?  Why Won’t DHS Protect Its Detainees under the Prison Rape Elimination Act Right Now?

One Year Longer? Why Won’t DHS Protect Its Detainees under the Prison Rape Elimination Act Right Now?

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:18pm

The Prison Rape Elimination Act was passed by a unanimous Congress in 2003, with regulations due by June 2010. It was clearly intended to cover all detainees, civil and criminal. Two years later, the Obama administration at last released the final implementing rules for PREA. Commendably, the Department of Justice reversed its prior position that PREA doesn’t cover all immigration detainees. Yet the Department of Homeland Security – despite an abysmal track record of preventing and investigating sexual abuse and assault in its facilities, which was recently exposed on PBS’s Frontline – got a 360-day extension on PREA compliance.

PREA Rule: DOJ Takes First Steps to Protect Prison Rape Victims

PREA Rule: DOJ Takes First Steps to Protect Prison Rape Victims

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 12:05pm

Last Thursday’s release of the long-delayed national Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regulations by the Department of Justice reminds us of the hundreds of prison rape victims we’ve heard from over the years who could not seek justice because the prison officials who failed to protect them were essentially immunized from liability by a 1996 federal law, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The announced purpose of the PLRA was to curb the filing of frivolous litigation by prisoners. In reality, the law makes it

The Shameful Index of Prison Rape - Action on PREA Can End the Violence

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project & Jennifer Wedekind, National Prison Project at 4:29pm

Today the Department of Justice released the long-awaited Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regulations, representing the first time that the federal government has issued national standards to help end sexual abuse in correctional facilities. The…

The Administration Must Act: Immigrants in Detention Deserve Equal Protection from Sexual Abuse

The Administration Must Act: Immigrants in Detention Deserve Equal Protection from Sexual Abuse

By Sandhya Bathija, Washington Legislative Office at 6:14pm

In 2009, Claudia Leiva Deras, a domestic violence survivor who is now a lawful U.S. resident, was held in immigration detention at the Cass County Jail in Plattsmouth, Neb. While Claudia waited there for the outcome of her immigration hearing,…

New York Times Highlights Urgent Need to Protect Immigration Detainees from Sexual Abuse

New York Times Highlights Urgent Need to Protect Immigration Detainees from Sexual Abuse

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 2:57pm

It is critical the Obama administration ensures that the bipartisan Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) applies to immigration detention facilities.

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