Members of the former National Prison Rape Elimination Commission sent a letter earlier this month to Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, expressing concern that the senator would propose an amendment to the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) that would “delay or weaken penalties for non-compliance with the Standards.” Noting that Cornyn voted for the original law and must therefore agree with its objectives, the authors urged him not to seek the modifications since enforcement of the law is in part based on a 5 percent reduction of federal grants for prison-related purposes in states that are noncompliant and forces the states to commit a set amount of resources to becoming compliant.
Cornyn proposed a similar amendment in 2014. To date two states have been certified as compliant and 47 states and territories are working toward the certification. Seven states have chosen “not to provide a certification or assurance” in line with PREA.
Read the full letter here.