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Prisoner Education Guide

Prison Legal News: March, 2004

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Volume 15, Number 3

In this issue:

  1. Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 Signed into Law; Commission to Be Formed Soon (p 6)
  2. CCA Closes Oklahoma Prison, Settles Tax Lawsuit Over Ohio Prison (p 14)

Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 Signed into Law; Commission to Be Formed Soon

On September 4, 2003, President Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (H.R. 1707), creating the first ever federal law to address rape behind bars. Appointing members to the new National Prison Rape Reduction Commission created by the law will be the first step in implementing the act.


A diverse coalition of advocacy groups worked for years to bring prisoner rape to the attention of legislators and the public. [Editor's Note: Michael Horowitz, a fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute in Washington DC was the driving force in pushing for and enacting the PREA.] The breadth of the coalition, ranging from Focus on the Family and the Christian Coalition to the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza, ultimately gained bi-partisan support for the Prison Rape Elimination Act. It was passed unanimously by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Lara Stemple, executive director of Stop Prisoner Rape, a human rights' organization that pushed hard for the passage of the PREA, said the law "marks historic progress on the most neglected form of abuse in the nation."


The act calls for a nationwide research on the incidence of prisoner rape, the establishment of national ...

CCA Closes Oklahoma Prison, Settles Tax Lawsuit Over Ohio Prison

The turbulent economy of the past decade has led many communities across America to foolishly seek prisons as a recession proof industry and rural welfare program for poor whites. But prisons can be a double edged sword, sometimes causing more problems than they solve. Private prisons can be especially duplicitous. Private prisons open and close at will as the need for bed space arises. While public prisons can do the same, powerful guard unions prevent that from occurring in all but the rarest of cases. Private prison guards are not unionized. Sayre, Oklahoma and Youngstown, Ohio are two towns that were lured by the seemingly easy money and extra jobs private prisons would bring. They ended up being burned by their own greed.


Sayre, Oklahoma


On April 23, 2000, a riot broke out at the North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre, Oklahoma, a private prison owned by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). One guard received 12 stitches to the head and spent six days in the hospital after seven prisoners allegedly beat and kicked him. The riot apparently began on the recreation yard and moved to the kitchen where another 15 prisoners caused roughly $12,000 in damage. All of ...

 

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