Prison Rape is a common occurrence in America’s penal institutions. Sexual assault occurs most frequently on juveniles, the LGBT community, and people who are weak in stature. To combat this problem, The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), passed in 2003 with bipartisan support and the backing of special interest groups, was envisioned as a human rights milestone. Prison rape is assumed by an apathetic public to be an expected part of the incarceration experience. PREA, in addition to encountering major time setbacks in implementation, has not become a human rights milestone and, even where it has been implemented, is often discriminatory in its application. As part of an interdisciplinary team, the social worker is in a unique position to understand the extent and the reality of prison rape and can devise and recommend policy revisions to fulfill the goals of PREA. These revisions might include suggestions for more adaptable prison construction, more efficient operations procedures, and guidelines for a more sympathetic system of administration.
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