Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

U.S. News
U.S. Likely to Miss Deadline on Prison Rape Rules

June 8, 2010

Standards for protecting prisoners from rape while incarcerated are due this month from the U.S. Justice Department, but observers say the government is unlikely to meet that deadline.

Justice Department studies estimate that every year more than 60,000 prisoners say they are the victim of sexual assault. Twelve percent of juveniles in custody are raped, according to one study.

"Regardless of what crime someone may have committed, rape is not part of the penalty," says Lovisa Stannow, a prisoners' rights advocate. "And when government takes away someone's freedom, it takes on an absolute responsibility to protect that person's safety."

The deadline stems from bipartisan legislation passed seven years ago. The major thrust of the legislation was that the government was obligated to step up security in U.S. prisons.

Changes under discussion include not assigning male guards to monitor female prisoners in showers, separating weaker prisoners from aggressive inmates, and offering better staff training. Prison officials say the changes may cost up to $1 billion to implement and another $1 billion annually to maintain.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledges the challenges in meeting the tougher standards.

"When I speak to wardens, when I speak to people who run local jails, when I speak to people who run state facilities, they look at me and say, 'Eric, how are we supposed to do this? How are we supposed to segregate people and build new facilities and do training?' That is what we are trying to work out," Holder said.

Back to other news for June 2010

Excerpted from:
NPR.com
06.03.2010; Carrie Johnson




This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:
http://www.thebody.com/content/art56980.html

General Disclaimer: TheBody.com is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through TheBody.com should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.