Ending Prison Rape
Last week the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission issued its 259-page report on the disturbing prevalence of sexual abuse in our nation's prisons. The Commission, established under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (which was drafted with the help of the RAC and which Rabbi Saperstein testified in favor of) called for a number of standards to be put into place and for specific steps to be taken.
For too long, Americans have turned a blind eye to prison rape. No person, in jail or otherwise, should be subjected to such abuse and it is past time that our government takes direct action toward ending the cruel, unjust and abhorrent reality of prison rape.
Earlier this week, Rabbi Saperstein responded to the report's release. The whole statement can be found here, and below is a short excerpt:
We commend the report issued by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission that makes clear that prison rape remains a widespread problem that demands immediate and swift action. The Commission estimates that nearly 60,500 prisoners experienced sexual abuse one or more times in State and Federal facilities in 2007. Among the most disturbing statistics in the report is that, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 16.8 per 1,000 juveniles held in adult facilities experienced sexual abuse, a rate five times greater than adults. These numbers, likely underreported, serve as an alarming reminder of the scourge of prison rape and the immediate need for preventative programs, treatment, and investigation.