Friday, March 19, 2010

Let's Help Put an End to Prison Rape

At her indispensable Prison Law Blog, Sara Mayeux asks, "why not take five minutes to write a letter to the Department of Justice, urging the adoption of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission standards? You can print out a sample letter from Prison Fellowship here, or read more about the issue — including an interview with Lovisa Stannow, executive director of Just Detention International, over here at — Criminal Justice."

While you're visiting Sara's site, please check out her list of criminal law blogs in the right-hand column.
Cross-posted at
Update: The second of two articles by David Kaiser and Lovisa Stannow for the New York Review of Books is out: "The Way to Stop Prison Rape." The first article is here. From the conclusion to their latest piece:
Sexual abuse in detention is a human rights crisis in this country. Reform is urgent, and the commission makes clear how to achieve it. No one expects or wants Attorney General Holder simply to accept the commission's recommendations without question, but it is worth emphasizing that a bipartisan, government-appointed commission has already spent years developing standards to prevent prisoner rape. Its proceedings were inclusive, responsible, and exhaustive, and the standards themselves products of compromise among experts, reflecting the best practices already in place at our best facilities. If Holder needlessly delays in approving these standards, or ones very much like them—worse, if he strips them of their force because of pressure from corrections leaders—then tens or hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children will continue to be raped while in the government's care, when we could have prevented it.


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