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I’m writing to urge you to enact the standards developed by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. On June 23, the Justice Department missed the legally imposed deadline to enact guidelines for prisons to reduce sexual assault, and it appears that you are dragging your feet on this critical issue. Between 60,000 and 100,000 Americans are raped behind bars each year — these rapes are continuing to occur today and your administration has the power to stop them.
Thanks to the hard work and expertise of the NPREC, the Department of Justice has the tools it needs to address prison rape and restore dignity and human rights to our prisons. The time for extended cost analysis conducted by private firms has passed — it is now time to act.
We are responsible for the safety and health of the millions of Americans incarcerated in our prisons and jails, and allowing them to be assaulted because appropriate safeguards are not in place is unacceptable. This is a human rights issue on our home soil, and it must be addressed without delay.
Please take steps to enact the standards immediately. This can’t wait another year.
Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.