Rick Perry Just Can't Get Enough Prison Rape
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has advised the Department of Justice that Texas justcan't afford to comply with burdensome federal laws aimed at preventing prison rape, so the state just isn't gonna, OK? Also, he's going to tell other governors to ignore the law, too, because States' Rights. He wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder last week to advise that Texas is just not going to implement parts of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), which was rammed down the nation's throat in 2003 by George W. Bush, but is probably Obama's fault anyway.
“Washington has taken an opportunity to help address a problem in our prisons and jails, but instead created a counterproductive and unnecessarily cumbersome regulatory mess for the states,” Perry wrote in the letter. “Absent standards that acknowledge the operational realities of our prisons and jails, I will not sign your form (certifying compliance with the act) and I will encourage my fellow governors to follow suit.”
You see, it's not that Perry is in favor of prison rape, just that he doesn't think Texas should have to comply with a bunch of Washington bureaucrats' rules when Texas already has its own anti-rape policies and procedures that work just fine, maybe.
Among other problems Perry has with PREA, he objects to its rules aimed at preventing “cross-gender viewing” of inmates, since 40% of Texas correctional officers in male prisons are female. Restricting the officers to women's prisons and not allowing them to work in prisons housing males would likely "violate state and federal labor laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender," since that would deny those female correctional officers the chance for job advancement, also too. And restricting line of sight in prison cells would just be dangerous for everyone.
Perry also argues that PREA's requirement that inmates under 18 be housed separately from adult prisoners “infringes on Texas’ right to establish the state’s own age of criminal responsibility,” which in Texas is 17, because you've got to teach young thugs a lesson. Also, too, Perry thinks that PREA's requirements for "staffing ratios for juvenile detention facilities” are unreasonable, because who knows better than Texas how many guards are needed for Texas young'uns?
All in all, Perry is pretty proud that "[instead] of waiting for Washington to act," Texas has taken a lot of steps to reduce prison rapes, although now that Washington has done a law, 11 years ago, Perry's not so crazy about following it. Still, he says that Texas has seen "an 84 percent decrease in the number of allegations of non-consensual sex acts among offenders" in juvenile facilities, and a 10% decrease in adult prisons between 2011 and 2012, so good on Texas, unless of course that's one of those statistics that relies on weird numbers-fudging to accomplish (what, for instance, would account for an 84% decrease in the juvenile facilities and only 10% in the adult system?).
But since PREA requires governors to certify that all their facilities are in compliance, even in a big state where there's lots and lots of prisons and no time or budget to audit every one of them, and since Perry doesn't like some of those standards anyway, he's just not going to certify anything, capische? Texas is doing just fine, and doesn't need your Big Government, one-size-fits-all regulations, thank you very much, so you can just take your law, signed by some guy who knew nothing about Texas's special circumstances, and blow it out your ear-hole. Texas has got this one just fine.
We are so reassured. If there's one things Texas is good at, it's making sure regulations are followed.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.