ANSWER: George W. Bush
In 2003, George W. Bush signed the landmark Prison Rape Elimination Act.
In 2013, the California State Assembly Appropriations Committee, led by Assemblymember Mike Gatto, and overseen by Assembly Speaker John Perez, allowed a critical bill to die -- the Sexual Abuse in Detention Act 2013, which would have stopped sexual abuse in the state's local jails, juvenile facilies, and private prisons.
TAKE ACTION: CALL ASSEMBLYMEMBER GATTO AND SPEAKER PEREZ RIGHT NOW!
STEP 1: Call Speaker Perez's office at (213) 620-4646 and Assemblymember Gatto's office at (916) 319-2043.
STEP 2: Demand that they explain why they don't care as much as President Bush does about the health and human rights of the thousands of men, women, and children held in California detention facilities.
The Sexual Abuse in Detention Elimination Act of 2013 (SADEA 2013) was put on hold in the California State Assembly Appropriations Committee, effectively ending any possibility of it becoming law.
The bill would have been the first-ever state law to make the federal PREA standards enforceable in local detention facilities. The Appropriations Committee had access to testimony from survivors, advocates, and corrections experts, as well as nearly a decade of federal research documenting the crisis of sexual abuse in the nation's detention facilities. The most recent federal research shows a continuing problem of sexual abuse in exactly the kinds of facilities that SADEA 2013 was meant to address.
The 2013 federal report on adult facilities shows that 14 of the 27 California jails surveyed had higher than the nation's (already high) rate of sexual abuse. The latest federal report on youth facilities showed that California has nearly three times the national rate of youth-on-youth abuse and nearly twice the national rate of staff-on-youth abuse.
Government research has consistently found that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender detainees experience sexual abuse at horrifically high levels. Immigration detainees held by local jails and private prisons are also highly vulnerable to sexual abuse. SADEA 2013 would have been the first bill in the country to hold private facilities that house immigration detainees directly accountable for this abuse.