E-NEWS - 2011

Urgent: Tell the Department of Justice to Stop Prisoner Rape

Can you spare a few minutes to help stop prisoner rape? That's all it will take to submit your public comments to the U.S. Department of Justice, urging the government to adopt strong national standards to prevent and respond to sexual abuse behind bars.

The Department of Justice has opened a public comment period on its draft of the standards, which, once finalized by Attorney General Holder, will be binding on corrections facilities nationwide. This public comment period, which runs through April 4, is your last chance to give your input directly to the Department.

The national standards aren't just another set of government regulations; they are concrete, common sense measures that have the power to protect hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children each year from the horror of sexual abuse.

By addressing core management issues -- including staff training, inmate education, housing, and investigations in the aftermath of an assault -- the standards can have a real impact on the levels of sexual abuse in a facility.

Jan, who was raped repeatedly by a corrections officer while serving time in a state prison, explains:

"I knew that if I reported what he was doing, he would write me a major misconduct ticket and I would never get home. The warden made it clear that if an inmate reported a rape by an officer, she would always believe the employee over the inmate. If the standards had been in place when I was in prison, I would have known my rights, and I would have known how to get help. It's too late for them to help me, but I want to make sure that no one else has to go through what I did."

Make your voice count. Check out JDI's sample letter to the Department of Justice, or write your own comments using our talking points.

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