Jump directly to the content

Evangelicals Call for Prison-Rape Reforms

Evangelicals are calling on the Obama administration to enact long-promised prison reforms, saying the incarcerated deserve protection from violence and rape.

In 2003, former president George W. Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which aimed to lower the estimated 13 percent of inmates sexually assaulted each year.

The bill called for the Department of Justice to research prison rape and requires prisons to establish prevention programs.

Now, the National Association of Evangelicals is urging the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission to follow up on the standards proposed.

NAE President Leith Anderson and Director of Government Affairs Galen Carey wrote on May 10 to Attorney General Eric Holder that "those behind bars deserve the same protections against violence as those on the outside."

The NAE pushed for the rape commission to adopt the standards from the 2003 act regardless of the government's tight budget, suggesting that the reforms will reduce recidivism and lead to cost savings.

In 2003, the bill drew support from varied religious and advocacy groups including the Southern Baptist Convention, the Christian Coalition of America, the NAACP and Human Rights Watch.

Like the NAE, the Human Rights Watch's Jamie Fellner reaffirmed the organization's stance in a Jan. 5 letter to Attorney General Holder – saying that "tens of thousands of adults and juveniles are still sexually abused each year because officials have not instituted basic measures to protect them."

According to the Department of Justice Web site, Holder appointed members to the review panel on Jan. 1 in order to assist the Bureau of Justice Statistics in identifying common characteristics of prison systems and prisoners involved in prison rape.

Related Topics:Politics
Posted:May 19, 2010 at 6:22PM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Family Christian Stores Lives On, For Now
Court approval needed for sale to Family Christian subsidiary.
Family Christian Risks Shutdown of 266 Stores after Bankruptcy Auction
Four bidders—three of them liquidators—are bidding for the nation's largest Christian bookstore chain today.
Evangelicals Denounce Payday Lending, Join Fight for New Regulations
Unusual faith coalition calls on Congress to limit payday loans.
Josh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' Apologizes, Resigns after Reports of Molesting 5 Young Girls
Police investigated sexual assaults in 2006, but no charges were brought against Duggar. TLC pulls program from its lineup.
Christianity Today
Evangelicals Call for Prison-Rape Reforms