More than a decade after the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act was passed, many states are only beginning to comply with the law, and prison rape is still a disgusting and pervasive problem across the nation, editorializes the Washington Post. The latest Justice Department survey says 4 percent of state and federal prison inmates reported sexual abuse in the previous year, including one in 10 for youths in some facilities.
As of last month, most states reported only “assurances” they were working on complying. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the rules are too one-size-fits all and would be too costly. The law does not make outrageous demands on states, the Post says. The newspaper notes that the Justice Department “is poised to dock federal grant money from Texas and the other holdouts. It should.” It urges DOJ to pressure the states that say they are still working on complying. “They cannot be allowed to continually submit assurances to federal officials instead of complying fully.” the newspaper says.