Some states opting out of federal prison rape law

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Associated Press

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Updated Friday, May 23 at 4:35 PM

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Several states are refusing to comply with a federal law designed to reduce sexual assaults in prison, with governors criticizing the Prison Rape Elimination Act as an unfunded mandate that replaces good intentions with red tape.

The governors of Idaho, Texas, Indiana, Utah and Arizona have informed U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that they won't try to meet the federal prison rape standards. Governors were required to certify by May 15 that their states either met the standards, or to promise that they were actively working toward that goal.

Brenda Smith, a former commissioner on the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, said the decision by some states to opt out is shameful.

At least nine states, including Washington and New York, have said they are working toward full PREA compliance.

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