Last Chance to Make Your Voice Heard!
Today -- up until midnight Eastern Time -- is your last chance to submit public comments to the Department of Justice, weighing in on its draft of national standards mandated by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003. Once finalized by Attorney General Holder, these standards will be binding on corrections facilities nationwide.
Unfortunately, the Attorney General's proposed standards are unacceptably weak in some key areas. Together, we must demand that Holder adopt strong, meaningful standards that provide real protection for all people behind bars.
Prisoner rape survivors are counting on you. Please speak up for those who are so often ignored or forgotten.
Speak up for people like Jeffrey. Jeffrey was sent to state prison for nonviolent drug-related charges. After filing complaints about not being allowed to attend prison groups like Narcotics Anonymous, Jeffrey was sexually assaulted by three corrections officers during a strip search. Two years later, he's still serving time, and he's still trying to cope with what those officers did to him. He's had to struggle to get medical attention for injuries caused by the sexual abuse. He's filed grievances. And he's faced ongoing threats and retaliation from staff and other inmates, for daring to speak out. He writes,
"I thought with time, things would get better, but it seems things are only getting worse. Just trying to stay alive another day is a struggle."
You can help put an end to the injustices suffered by Jeffrey, and hundreds of thousands of others like him. Let's not let the Department of Justice abandon its responsibility to protect those in the government's care.
Please act now. You can submit your comments by using JDI's sample letter, or you can use our talking points to write your own letter.
No matter what crime someone may have committed, rape must not be part of the penalty.
Don't forget to follow JDI on Facebook and Twitter -- in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we'll be posting daily quotes from survivors of sexual abuse behind bars.