[gender-cedaw-vn] USA: Guidelines for Fighting Prison Rape
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Fri Jun 26 12:02:45 EST 2009
Subject: [AIDS ASIA] Guidelines for Fighting Prison Rape
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 01:42:38 -0000
From: AIDS ASIA<AIDS_ASIA at yahoogroups.com>
Reply-To: AIDS_ASIA at yahoogroups.com
To: AIDS_ASIA at yahoogroups.com
[Editors note: The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission report is
avaiable on the web link http://www.nprec.us/ ]
UNITED STATES: "Panel Sets Guidelines for Fighting Prison Rape"
Washington Post 06.23.09: Carrie Johnson
The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission on Tuesday released its
report on preventing sexual assault behind bars, which includes a set of
recommendations for state corrections officials. Panel members are
preparing to send the report to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who
will have one year to formulate national, non-binding guidelines.
According to the report, prison rape can have deleterious effects on
public health, crime rates, and successful re-entry of inmates into
society. "If you have a zero-tolerance policy on prison rape and it is
known from the highest ranks that this will not be tolerated and there
will be consequences for it, that goes a long way in sending a message,"
said US District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who led the commission.
The report recommends that corrections officers identify vulnerable
inmates, offer better medical care, and allow stricter oversight of
their facilities. In addition, staff members should be given thorough
background checks and trained to ensure victims of sexual assault obtain
medical and mental health care.
The commission held hearings and visited 11 correctional facilities
before issuing the report. The panel's advice may be difficult to
implement for wardens already battling overcrowding. Prisoners surveyed
reported that corrections officers committed a significant portion of
inmate assaults, so officials may protest stricter oversight.
Prison sexual assault "isn't just a random event that can happen to
other bad people," said Brenda V. Smith, an American University law
professor and panel member. Political protesters, people accused of
driving under the influence, and drug offenders testified about
traumatic incidents of rape while in custody, sometimes while being
locked up for just one night, she said. "This is something that could
happen to a kid who has no priors and who happens to make a mistake,"
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