Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Hold governors accountable for implementing law that will prevent sexual assaults in prisons
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed by the U.S. Congress in 2003, providing funding and improving regulations in correctional facilities in the U.S. to stem the prison rape epidemic. Though the law requires that states certify the implementation of PREA standards, since it was passed only two states have certified compliance, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Many governors have, in fact, refused outright to comply.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has been the most vocal in his refusal to implement the standards. Idaho, Indiana, Utah and Arizona also declined to submit certification that they were in compliance or even assurance that steps were being taken to do so. Another 46 states and territories have, in the eleven years since PREA standards were put in place, submitted “assurances” that steps towards full compliance are underway.
While governors have a responsibility to protect their constituents and uphold the law, the federal government has a responsibility to enforce the implementation of its laws. States should not be allowed to simply refuse laws passed by the U.S. Congress, especially those which affect the dignity and rights of American citizens.
Demand state compliance with PREA standards in correctional facilities to protect Americans paying for their crimes. No human, no matter their crime, should be subject to sexual assault under any circumstances. Protections must be implemented today.
Dear President Barack Obama,
In 2003, the Prison Rape Elimination Act was passed to end the epidemic of prison rape and sexual assault in the country’s correctional facilities. In the eleven years since it was passed, only two states have certified compliance with PREA regulations and five states have refused to do so. With appropriate funding and the efficiency of these standards, there is no reason that every state and territory in the U.S. should not already be in full compliance.
The responsibility for the implementation of these laws rests not only with the governors of each state, but with the federal government, as well. If states refuse to comply with the regulations protecting the rights of their citizens, it is the task of the federal government to ensure that those states’ representatives are held accountable.
I implore you to take action to ensure our laws are being upheld, especially those affecting the dignity and safety of our citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bart Everson via Flickr