House Speaker Hastert Endorses Prison Rape Reduction Act
Sept. 26, 2002
WASHINGTON D.C. - House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) today endorsed the
Prison Rape Reduction Act of 2002, legislation he called "a truly
compassionate initiative that will make real progress in changing the
realities of incarceration."
Hastert's endorsement came in a letter to Charles Colson, the chairman of
Prison Fellowship Ministries. The group is a backer of the bill.
The speaker, saying the issue of prisoner rape "is one of compassion" and
"transcends one's political affiliation," called the legislation a measure
that would "go a long way in addressing a problem that has too long been
quietly swept under the rug."
"Prison rape goes way beyond the bounds that any civilized society can
tolerate," Hastert wrote. "Also, it undermines rehabilitation efforts by
the criminal justice system and often leads to inmates becoming more
violent while in prison."
The Prison Rape Reduction Act, which is pending before Congress, is
designed to eliminate prisoner rape by authorizing a study to document the
extent of the problem; and by creating a program of standards and
incentives to help corrections officials detect and prevent prison rape.
Stop Prisoner Rape, a supporter of the bill, recently provided testimony
in support of the PRRA to the Senate Judiciary Committee and this week
launched a letter-writing campaign to encourage the Bush administration to
support the legislation.