[RaisingTheBar] Raising the Bar Coalition Updates
Nicole de la Torre
NdelaTorre at justdetention.org
Mon Apr 23 09:11:12 EDT 2012
Dear Raising the Bar members:
I hope this email finds you doing great. I'm writing with a number of updates.
The standards have not yet left the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) despite the fact that we are now past the 120 deadline. While the governing Executive Order gives the Attorney General the authority to now publish the regulations without waiting for OIRA to complete its review, we've been told by the DOJ that will not happen (and would be highly irregular if it did). JDI is monitoring the OIRA website so that we'll know when they do leave.
Once the standards leave OIRA, they will go back to the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel for a last line edit (not for content but just for consistency and accuracy). It is unclear how long this will take. Per the DOJ, it took the four weeks to complete its review of the draft regulations in spring 2011, but it is possible that the review won't take as long this time. We've asked for a couple of days notice before the standards are published but are unsure if we'll get it. Obviously, if we do, we'll let the Coalition know immediately.
Still no word on any of the hot button issues we're watching. A coalition of groups lead by the American Immigration Lawyers Association met with OIRA late last month to emphasize the need to apply the standards to immigration detention facilities. National Council of La Raza then led an effort to send a sign-on letter to the White House following this meeting. You can see the letter here: http://www.justdetention.org/pdf/PREA_Letter_to_Cecilia_Munoz_4-2-2012.pdf
Prison Rape Review Panel report
The DOJ's Prison Rape Review Panel has issued its report from the two 2011 hearings it held (one on prisons and one on jails). The report is lengthy and contains a lot of good content. You can find it at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/reviewpanel/pdfs/prea_finalreport_2012.pdf
Supreme Court decision on jail strip searches
As many of you may have seen, the U.S. Supreme Court recently issued its decision in Florence v. Burlington. A slight majority of justices upheld the Burlington policy (used in many jails around the country) requiring all incoming inmates to submit to a visual strip search. JDI published a piece in Huff Po criticizing the decision and making clear the relationship between such policies and sexual abuse in detention. You can find the piece at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lovisa-stannow/supreme-court-strip-searches_b_1429540.html
Petition on the CCA shareholder resolution
Coalition member Alex Friedman has launched a petition to support the CCA shareholder resolution calling on the company to increase transparency around instance of sexual abuse in its facilities. The campaign is going strong and your organization can support it by signing the petition (and making it available to your networks): https://www.change.org/petitions/ask-corrections-corp-of-america-to-report-on-efforts-to-reduce-prison-rape
Our next general coalition meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 9th at 3:00pm. We will send a reminder and call-in information prior to the meeting.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions,
Nicole de la Torre
Just Detention International
1900 L St. NW, Suite 601
Washington, DC 20036
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