In a three page letter delivered Friday to the US Justice Department, Texas Governor Rick Perry informed the US Justice Department that Texas would not be complying with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).
The 2003 PREA law passed unanimously by Congress and signed into Federal law by then President George W Bush, set guidelines for the US Justice Department to implement standards and criteria to reduce sexual assault in prisons and jails.
In Perry’s Letter he states: “No one argues against PREA’s good intentions; however, DOJ recently adopted rules making it impossible for Texas – and, I suspect, other states – to comply with PREA. The rules appear to have been created in a vacuum with little regard for input from those who daily operate state prisons and local jails.”
President of the AFSCME Local 3807 Texas Correctional Employees, Lance Lowery, says, “Although most staff do not agree with the PREA Act, Rick Perry’s decision to not certify Texas prisons in compliance with PREA standards now means the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) may face a loss of Federal PREA funding. In addition to loss of Federal funding, this latest decision will open Texas up to Federal court litigation and increased liability for the state and correctional staff.”