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Why Governor Perry Won’t Adopt Prison Rape Elimination Act Standards

Governor Perry says recommended federal prison standards won’t work in Texas


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Gov Rick Perry

Governor Perry has said that the intentions of PREA, the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act is “commendable,” but called the DOJ’s efforts to implement the legislation “counterproductive.”

The rules address widespread sexual assault in prisons by recommending standards that include separating teens from adults, eliminating cross-gender pat-downs in juvenile units and increasing the staff at those facilities. Matthew Simpson is with the American Civil Liberties Union:

“Failure to comply with PREA’s minimal standards places youth in danger in adult facilities, and risks the loss of federal funding for already underfunded prisons.”

At an appearance with billionaire investor Warren Buffett in Katy, Gov. Perry responded to Simpson’s comments.

“If ther ACLU really cares about reform, rather than just attacking how we deal this issue of sexual assault in our prisons, they’re actually not being part of the solution, and I’m interested in finding answers to solutions.”

Simpson says says while state prisons contain people who have been convicted, that’s not the case in local lockups.

“Up to 60-percent of inmates in county jails may not have actually been convicted of anything. They may be just awaiting trial. So, no one should be raped in prison jail or any other context, but the idea that there would be people that haven’t even been found guilty, it seems even more outrageous.”

A recent survey by the Bureau of Justice found that 1 in 8 juveniles in detention are sexually assaulted, with cross-gender inmates at least 10 times more likely to have experienced sexual abuse.