Prison Rape Elimination Act
Enacted: Feb 2005
WHEREAS, President George W. Bush signed into law S. 1435, the “Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003;
WHEREAS, the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 provides for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in federal, state and local institutions, resources, recommendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape;
WHEREAS, the Act establishes a framework for actions at many levels, including federal, state and local prison systems; the U.S. Department of Justice; and accreditation organizations. In addition, the Act provides that federal, state and local officials must participate in surveys and studies, and the selection of facilities, “shall not be disclosed to any facility prison system official prior to the time period studied in the survey.”;
WHEREAS, the creates a National Prison Rape Reduction commission and grants the Commission a right of access to any federal department or agency information it considers necessary to carry out its duties, and provides for release of information to the public;
WHEREAS, the purposes of the Act are to: establish a zero-tolerance standard for the incidence of prison rape in prisons in the United States;
- make the prevention of prison rape a top priority in each prison system;
- develop and implement national standards for the detection, prevention, reduction and punishment of prison rape;
- increase the available data and information on the incidence of prison rape, consequently improving the management and administration of correctional facilities;
- standardize the definitions used for collecting data on the incidence of prison rape;
- increase the accountability of prison officials who fail to detect, prevent, reduce and punish prison rape;
- protect the Eighth Amendment rights of federal, state and local prisoners;
- increase the efficiency and effectiveness of federal expenditures through grant programs such as those dealing with health care; disease prevention; crime prevention, investigation and prosecution; prison construction, maintenance and operation; race relations; poverty; unemployment and homelessness;
- reduce the costs that prison rape imposes on interstate commerce.
WHEREAS, many community corrections, probation and parole agencies operate or manage residential facilities for individuals under community supervision or contract with said type of facilities where sexual assault can occur;
WHEREAS, individuals transitioning to community-based supervision from prisons and jails, who have been the victims of sexual assault and may be in need of services to address their victimization;
WHEREAS, community corrections officers, probation officers and/or parole officers may be the first person an individual who is the victim of sexual assault tells of the said assault and the officer requires knowledge in how to address this situation and assist the victimized party;
WHEREAS, an individual who is incarcerated should not be subjected to sexual assault by other offenders or staff.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the American Probation and Parole Association hereby recognizes the importance of the Prison Rape Elimination Act to minimize the day-to-day horror experienced by victimized incarcerated individuals and recommends that probation, parole and community supervision agencies support the Act.