Justice Department urged to finalize standards to end rape in U.S. prisons, The Washington Post, June 24, 2010

Human rights advocates and lawmakers called on the Justice Department to move faster to finalize national standards aimed at ending rape in U.S. prisons after the department missed Wednesday's deadline on it.

The standards were issued last year by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, which was appointed by Congress to study a problem that has gained national attention in recent years.

By law, the Justice Department had until Wednesday to approve the guidelines, which recommend steps such as conducting regular audits to hold prisons accountable. Advocates, rape survivors and lawmakers, including Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), criticized the missed deadline Wednesday in a call with reporters.

Hannah August, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said the department is "working diligently to implement these standards as soon as possible. . . . It is unacceptable for anyone in the care of our country's correctional facilities to be sexually assaulted.''

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