Thousands of individuals and organizations are calling on their governors to cease the practice of placing youth in adult jails and prisons in order to comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).
Passed unanimously by Congress in 2003, PREA restricts the placement of youth in adult jails and prisons. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) adopted a standard that restricts the placement of youth in adult facilities and safeguards children in these facilities.
By September 2013, Governors must begin auditing detention and correctional facilities to ensure full
compliance with PREA or risk losing a percentage of federal funding allocated for justice programs in their state, by complying with:
- Banning the housing of youth in the general adult population;
- Prohibiting contact between youth and adults in common areas, and ensuring youth are constantly supervised by staff; and
- Limiting the use of isolation which causes or exacerbates mental health problems for youth.
It is crucial that governors fully protect children from the dangers of adult jails and prisons. Rather than try to segregate children from adults in adult jails and prisons which often leads to solitary confinement, governors should implement best practices by removing youth from adult jails and prisons.
Plus, follow the action on this topic and tweet your support with #implementPREA
More on this topic:
Campaign for Youth Justice's PREA fact sheet (PDF).