Prison Rape Reduction Act of 2003 Before House Subcommittee; SPR Calls for Swift Action

May 2, 2003

WASHINGTON D.C. - The non-profit human rights organization Stop Prisoner Rape today called for the passage of the Prison Rape Reduction Act of 2003.

The bill - which is designed to reduce prisoner rape by authorizing a study to document the extent of the problem and by creating standards and incentives to help corrections officials detect and prevent sexual abuse - is being considered by the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. The subcommittee held an April 29 hearing to consider the bill.

Lara Stemple, executive director of Stop Prisoner Rape (SPR), called for the subcommittee to act on the legislation in a timely manner.

 "This legislation is the first serious federal attempt to deal with a human rights crisis that has been virtually ignored in this country," Stemple said. "It's time to act decisively on this issue."

The Prison Rape Reduction Act of 2003 is co-sponsored by the bipartisan partnership of Frank Wolf, R-Virginia and Bobby Scott, D-Virginia.

"This is something that people on both sides of the aisle can agree on," Stemple said. "Inmates who are sexually abused in prison come out more likely to re-offend. The violence that we allow inside prisons doesn't stop at the prison walls. Its aftermath reaches all of us."