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National Prison Rape Elimination Commission Update
Thinking About Corrections

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Greetings from the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. The Commission is concluding the process of preparing standards and a final report on the elimination of sexual abuse in correctional and detention facilities, as statutorily required by the Prison Rape Elimination Act. The Commission’s final report and standards will be provided to Congress, the President, the Attorney General, and selected Federal and State officials on June 23, 2009; the same day, the report and standards will be available to the public at www.nprec.us.  As the release date draws near, we will be providing additional information by email and on the Commission’s website about release events and how to access the standards and final report.

Thanks to the extensive feedback received from organizations and individuals during last year’s public comment periods – including from many receiving this update – we believe that the standards have been significantly strengthened. The Commission has spent a substantial amount of time reflecting on and incorporating your comments and suggestions.Significant changes have been made to the content of the draft standards; the number of the standards has been reduced, and improvements have been made to the format of the final standards. We were pleased at the breadth and thoughtfulness of the many comments we received.  We recognize the value of contributions from the field and from others whom the Commission’s standards will effect. Your feedback has helped us to identify potential obstacles to the implementation of these standards and to formulate recommendations to efficiently advance our statutory mandate – the elimination of sexual abuse. The Commission itself sunsets 60 days after the submission of our report and standards, and then the real work of implementation begins. Within a year of receiving the final report and standards from the Commission, the Attorney General is required by the PREA statute to finalize and promulgate national standards for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of sexual abuse in corrections and detention facilities.  The finalized standards issued by the Attorney General are immediately applicable to the federal Bureau of Prisons.  States will receive notification of the Attorney General’s finalized standards and will have a year from the time of that notification to adopt and comply with them or risk losing five percent of any federal grant funds provided for prison purposes.  Note that the term “prison” is defined broadly to include any facility run by “a Federal, State, or local government, whether administered by such government or by a private organization on behalf of such government,” including local jails, police lockups, and any juvenile facility. Additionally, the statute directs that any organizations that accredit Federal, State, local, or private prisons, jails, or other penal facilities adopt accreditation standards for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of sexual abuse that are consistent with the final national standards.    

Thank you for your continued interest in the work of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission




Posted Wed, Jun 3 2009 12:39 PM by Anonymous

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