The Sexist

10,000 Americans Tell the U.S. Government to Stop Prison Rape

Yesterday, the comment period closed on the standards proposed by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission on, well, how to eliminate prison rape. According to Just Detention International, over 10,000 people submitted comments in support of the proposed corrections standards, including 100 survivors of prison rape. Press release after the jump.

10,000 People Urge Attorney General to Stop the Rape of Prisoners

Thousands of Americans — including corrections officials, prisoner rape survivors, and legal experts — call on Attorney General to adopt measures proposed by bipartisan commission

Washington, DC, May 10, 2010. A new phase in the development of national standards addressing prisoner rape begins today, as the Department of Justice closes its 60-day public comment period on a set of standards created by the bipartisan National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. Mandated by the U.S. Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), the Commission released its recommendations last June, referring them to the U.S. Attorney General for review and codification into binding federal regulation.

During the public comment period, some 100 prisoner rape survivors submitted comments asking Attorney General Holder to enact a strong set of standards. Dozens of supportive corrections officials, advocacy groups, and legal experts also submitted comments. Additionally, more than 10,000 individuals signed Just Detention International's petition, urging Holder to take action now. As of Monday afternoon, the Department of Justice had posted over 575 public comments online.

Under PREA, Attorney General Eric Holder has until June 23, 2010 to finalize the standards — but Holder has told Congress that he will miss that deadline. The delay is due, in part, to opposition to the standards from some powerful corrections officials. The measures already underwent significant revision after officials criticized an earlier draft — the standards now before the Attorney General are a compromise, balancing fiscal and security concerns of corrections officials with the right of all inmates to be free from sexual violence.

"These standards represent the bare minimum that corrections agencies must do to stop the sexual abuse that plagues U.S prisons and jails," said Lovisa Stannow, Executive Director of Just Detention International. "If fully implemented, they have the potential to prevent the rape of tens of thousands of inmates every year."

"If the standards had been in force when I was incarcerated, I might never have been assaulted," added prisoner rape survivor Kimberly Yates. "Attorney General Holder needs to move as quickly as possible to formalize them, so that others don't have to suffer as I did."

To read JDI's comments to the Attorney General, please click here.

For comments of prisoner rape survivor Kimberly Yates, click here.

To read comments from the Institute for Policy Integrity, click here.


Just Detention International seeks to hold government officials accountable for prisoner rape; to change ill-informed public attitudes about sexual violence behind bars; and to ensure that those who have survived such abuse get the help they need.

Photos via Just Detention International.

  • Rick Mangus

    Here we go again!, and again!, and again!

  • Jiggly Puff

    Don't wanna be prison raped? Don't break any laws and you won't end up in PRISON!

  • groggette

    Jiggly Puff, rape is never an acceptable form of punishment.

    Rick, we get it. You don't give a shit about rape. Your concern is duly noted.

    Amanda, thanks for the update on this project.

  • Rick Mangus

    'Jiggly Puff', I agree 100%!

  • Jiggly Puff


    I never said it was, but it certainly provides an incentive for being law-abiding. Prison isn't a piece of cake and honestly some murderers, other rapist, child molesters and pedophile deserve to be treated with the same courtesy as they treated their victims.

    The best way stop prison rape is simple; don't become a prisoner.

  • Goebbels

    Jiggly and Rick, saying as you do that anyone that somehow winds up in our prison system, for any infraction big or small (or even if they were falsely convicted) deserves to be subject to rape is an intelligent, nuanced position to take and demonstrates that you are both beautiful, compassionate, thoughtful people.

  • Jiggly Puff

    Thank you Goebbels for noticing my humanitarian nature. I live to love.

    In Jesus' name. Amen.

  • Grumpy

    Rape is funny until it happens to you or someone you love and care about. Most folks who hope that the convicted meets 'Bubba' don't realize how that one brutal act can create a future rapist that may be released back into Society and carrying that anger/disgust/self loathing with them and may seek vengeance by raping on the outside. Rape is the sadistic gift that keeps on giving.

    Can't have it both ways; can't wish punishment and an eye for an eye, then not have to deal with the consequences on the outside once that person is released. No one pities a molester or rapist or abuser getting punished under the law. You may not even care if they get raped in prison. But the repercussions can, will and do touch the outside.

  • Toysoldier

    rape is never an acceptable form of punishment.

    Depending on political views, opinions about certain groups of people, and the desire to impose punishment on other groups, many people may find rape an acceptable form of punishment. Some of those people might even feign concern about the issue just to appear politically correct.

  • groggette

    You're totally right Toysoldier, 10000+ people are far more concernend about being sufficiently PC than stopping the abuse and torture of a part of out population.

  • chris

    I just... I just can't picture something that adorable victim-blaming. Come on, Jigglypuff, just calm down and sing us a song.

  • Toysoldier

    Groggette, you do not think there are people who say they are against something, but really do not give damn? I am pretty sure that if you spoke to any prison official that person would claim that they do not condone sexual violence against inmates. I am also pretty sure that if you checked out the prison said official worked at you might find that it is common for cases to be quickly closed, dismissed, or ignored.

    Plenty of people say the right things, but do not necessarily do them.

  • groggette

    I agree with you on this one Toysoldier. Based on your previous comments here in any of the threads about rape, I (evidently erronously) assumed you were taking a dig at Amanda or the thousands of people who are actually trying to do something about this, right now. But if your comment is about prison officials, you have NO disagreement from me.

  • Kristina

    One of the goals of prison is rehabilitation. If someone in prison is caused further mental harm by his or her incarceration, our criminal justice system is hardly doing "justice". An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

  • Toysoldier

    Groggette, it applies to all people. I doubt that majority of those who signed the petition did so out of political correctness. I also doubt that those who hold certain political views care about stopping prison rape so much as they, like many prison officials, care about playing politics. However, I doubt the majority of those who signed the petition hold such political views.

  • Sailor

    It's sick to think that rape is ok when you are in prison. The fact is that anybody can end up in prison even for hanging out with someone who happens to possess stolen property like a vehicle. Believe it or not even a miscarriage can land you in prison. The list is endless.

    What if is a brother or a son? Any person that you care about, but you don't have any control over their actions.