Archive for Friday, May 18, 2012

Impact unclear on how new federal regulations aimed at fighting sexual assault in prisons will affect Kansas

May 18, 2012

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New regulations issued by the Obama administration Thursday could affect how Kansas prisons handle sexual assaults.

The new regulations — under development since the passage of the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act, or PREA — include mandatory screening, enforcement and prevention regulations designed to reduce sexual assaults by staff and other inmates in prisons nationwide.

The regulations apply to federal prisons and detention facilities. But states that don’t adopt the policies will lose portions of Department of Justice grant funds.

Kansas Department of Corrections spokesman Jan Lunsford said they were aware of the new regulations, but did not have additional information to release about any future changes in Kansas prison operations.

The Obama regulations come a day after the release of a Bureau of Justice Statistics report finding that nearly 10 percent of those released from correctional facilities report being sexually assaulted.

A 2010 Journal-World article into sexual assaults in Kansas prisons found there were about 120 sexual assault allegations reported annually in Kansas prisons and juvenile detention centers during a four-year period. However, less than 14 percent of those allegations — made against staff and inmates — were substantiated by prison investigations.

The PREA regulations are a welcome step, say anti-rape advocates.

“We have fought long and hard for the PREA standards,” said Lovisa Stannow, executive director of the prison rights advocacy group Just Detention International. “They have the potential to cut prisoner rape dramatically.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments

skinny 3 years ago

Just don't drop the bar of soap in the shower!

Frank Smith 3 years ago

The Corrections Corporation of America, which owns the only for-profit prison in Kansas, located in an industrial park in Leavenworth, just marshaled substantial corporate resources to resist a shareholder resolution that would have required it to report rapes in its prisons and policies and procedures to prevent rapes and other sexual abuse.

The resolution received almost 15 million votes in support, and another 13 million shares abstained or did not vote on the measure.

The corporation fought the introduction of the resolution, but was rebuffed by the Securities and Exchange Commission which found the resolution to be legitimate. Then CCA sent multiple communications to shareholders begging for a vote to continue to keep its operations shrouded.

The CCA Board members had voted unanimously against the resolution. They included Thurgood Marshall, Jr., who has sullied his father's name by selling out for about $180,000 a year he is paid as a board member. Charles Overby, the founder of the Freedom Foundation and the Newseum which honors freedom of the press, voted to maintain the corporate veil of secrecy over its sordid operations. Former Senator Dennis DeConcini, of Arizona, who supposedly safeguarded the integrity and transparency of government contracts when he was in office, voted to keep private the corporation's failures and its resistance to proactive compliance with PERA.

kawrivercrow 3 years ago

Easy solution: Report him to the Kansas State Board of Nursing. Get as many collaborating witnesses as possible. Include the inmates' fears of retribution in the report. Contact the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners organization at http://www.sane-sart.com/ for additional support.

Nothing strikes fear into dirty nurses like state board involvement...for very good reason.

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