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Hello One and All,

This is a note regarding PREA, and to let you know that your Union, AFSCME, has taken action in the form of notice to the Obama administration.
I was selected to be a representative from AFSCME Council 93 to the AFSCME Corrections United Steering Committee, which is comprised of thousands of other Correction officers in both adult and juvenile settings around the United States.
On Wednesday May 7, 2014 the Steering Committee meeting was held in Houston Texas. The activities included the sharing and exchanging of information on what is happening in each of the twenty (20) states that had representatives that attended the meeting with one another.
The activities began during the Wednesday meeting, followed by training on Thursday and participating in an organizing blitz on Friday with the members of the Texas Department of Corrections members. We went door-to-door knocking on members’ doors to sign up existing Officers who are represented by AFSCME and other Unions in Texas, which as you may know is a “Right to work state”.
I cannot tell you how lucky I felt afterwards, that we work in this State after hearing and seeing first-hand the conditions of the 30,000 Corrections Officers, and what they deal with in that State with over 170,000 prisoners they are entrusted to keep watch over in both state and private run prison facilities.  During our meetings, several of us made note that the implementation of PREA is costing and causing harm to our direct line staff.  As a result of our discussions, a statement in drafted and drawn up as follows:
Dear President Obama, 

The Prison Rape Elimination Act was passed in 2003 with the goal of eliminating rape and sexual harassment in prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities and in other correctional institutions. AFSMCE Corrections United supports the intent of the law, but the details and implementation are severely flawed.

Throughout the 10 – year drafting and roll out of PREA AFSCME participated in discussions with federal authorities, proved formal input and advocated for a fair, safe and common sense implementation process. However today we have serious concerns with the current application of the law. As implementation rolls out we are experiencing less secure facilities, widespread gender discrimination and confusing and conflicting regulations.

AFSCME Corrections United is calling for Attorney General Eric Holder to commission a thought review of PREA’s implementation nationwide. Such a review should be immediate, transparent and must fully involve front – line correction employees.