$13 Million Added to Bill to Study Prison Rape
 ---- Original Message ----- 
From: Taoss - Sherry Swiney 
To: PATRICK Crusade 
Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2003 5:03 PM
Subject: $13 Million Added to Bill to Study Prison Rape 

See what happens when Prison Reform starts getting into Vogue?  Keep up the great work everyone.  I see that in order to make the prison rape prevention program successful, protections will have to be granted to the participants.  In prison-government, snitches are generally killed.  I think this program will need to be operated by people who are pre-qualified for the task, rather than utilizing existing prison staff for implementation.  The idea of treating people in prison like human beings, especially coming from an Alabama Congress Member, for the sake of the formerly dreaded "R" (rehabilitation) word - means things are beginning to change.  Prison Reform is in its nascent stages of development.  Let us seize the moment by passing this article around the
Internet widely.  Continue writing your letters, sending your faxes, making your telephone calls, saying your prayers because it's *all* working.
Sherry Swiney
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking 
we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein
----- Original Message ----- 
From: VLCoffman@aol.com 
Sent: Saturday, February 22, 2003 7:03 PM
Subject: $13 Million Added to Bill to Study Prison Rape 

$13 Million Added to Bill to Study Prison Rape 
Birmingham News

Congress declared sexual assaults in prison a problem to be addressed by adding $13 million to the conglomerate spending bill approved last week. Human rights groups say it is the first-ever direct federal appropriation to study prisoner rape on a national scale and develop ways to prevent it. "Even small amounts of money, in the context of the fact that there has been no federal funding ever before on this issue, is significant and, if it is used wisely, could really make a difference," said Lara Stemple, executive director of Stop Prisoner Rape, a California-based nonprofit. The $13 million is part of the massive $394 billion federal spending package for the 2003 fiscal year, which began in October. Congress agreed to spend the money before the law creating the prison rape prevention program was even passed. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and a cosponsor of the bill, said it is still necessary to authorize the program, and he hopes the Prison Rape Reduction Act could be passed by early May. Until then, the Department of Justice can spend the money to collect and analyze data about sexual assaults behind bars in state and federal facilities. 
"I don't think prison life should be easy, but they should not be subjected to assault in prison," said U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a cosponsor of the bill. "And if you believe in the criminal justice system and the potential for reform of criminals, you don't want them being abused while they're in prison." Without a reliable, national study of the issue, estimates vary widely about how often such assaults occur. In a recent survey of facilities in a handful of Midwestern states, 20 percent of male inmates reported some kind of forced sexual incident and 9 percent said they had been raped at least once. 
Stemple, who testified in a congressional hearing last year, said any national study should give inmates the ability to report assaults confidentially. Corrections officials have expressed concern that the problem is not as pervasive as some believe and that the law would withhold federal funds from states that fail to follow the national standards. "I hope the study will show sexual abuse in prison is not as prevalent as television and movies would suggest, but we do know it is a real problem," Sessions said. "It's mainly an incentive program, but the heart of it to me is it calls on the states to pull back the blinds here and examine what's going on."