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US prison inmates need more protection from rape, brutality: UN

[JURIST] The UN Committee against Torture [official website] report [JURIST document] released Friday on US compliance with the Convention Against Torture [text] urged the US to do more to protect domestic prisoners and suspects from violence and threats of violence, in addition to calling on it to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, stop renditions, and reveal secret prisons [JURIST report]. The committee said the 2003 federal Prison Rape Elimination Act [NIC materials; US DOJ report] requiring states to develop prevention and data-gathering mechanisms was a step in the right direction, but it expressed concern about reports of continuing sexual abuse in detention facilities, and asked the US to provide it with accurate statistics, cross-referenced by sex, age, and sexual orientation, of all sexual assault complaints received by correctional institutions The report also recommended that all allegations of police brutality be thoroughly and quickly investigated by independent actors.

The committee was also troubled by US treatment of women in detention, demanded that all children be separated from adults even if they were tried as adults, and suggested that the Prison Litigation Reform Act [text] should be rewritten so that it provides a civil remedy to all inmates, even those who suffer only mental anguish without physical injury. AP has more.

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