The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and the Importance of Litigation in Its Enforcement: Holding Guards Who Rape Accountable

By Reid, Elizabeth A. | The Yale Law Journal, May 2013 | Go to article overview

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and the Importance of Litigation in Its Enforcement: Holding Guards Who Rape Accountable


Reid, Elizabeth A., The Yale Law Journal


I don't even know how to begin this story. I do my best to shove it deep down inside and keep it there, out of sight. But something needs to be said about what happened. It just has to be told as it was--bluntly and without hesitation. So take a warning: this story is graphic and despicable. Rape always is. Strangely, it's the little things that haunt me most. A whiff of cologne. The jingling of keys. The turn of a lock. In a click, I am back in that room. Locked in the room that is the subject of sweats and nightmares that shake me from my sleep. Even now, five years later.

NO. 07-2-01513-0

THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND DAMAGES

I. INTRODUCTION

1. The Plaintiffs in this case are women who have been, are, or will be confined by the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC). They bring this lawsuit to challenge specific acts of sexual assault by prison guards, as well as the systematic failure of DOC to take the steps necessary to prevent sexual assaults by staff in their institutions and to hold offending staff members accountable.

2. Article I, Section 14 of the Washington State Constitution guarantees to every person incarcerated in the DOC that they will not be subject to cruel punishment....

3. Subjecting women to an environment in which they are sexually assaulted, and in which sexual assaults are likely to occur, is cruel punishment.

4. The Class Defendants have a special relationship with inmates in DOC which arises because when a person is arrested and imprisoned for the protection of the public, she is deprived of her liberty as well as her ability to care for herself.

5. As a result of this special relationship, the Class Defendants have a duty to keep prisoners incarcerated in DOC facilities in health and safety. This includes the duty to take reasonable precautions to protect prisoners from sexual assaults by DOC employees and other prisoners.

6. The Class Defendants have a duty to properly supervise correctional officers and dismiss those who have sexual contact with prisoners.

7. As detailed in this complaint, the Class Defendants have breached their duties and, in turn, subjected Plaintiffs to cruel punishment in violation of Washington's Constitution, by incarcerating women in an environment in which sexual assaults have occurred and are likely to occur in the future.

8. As further detailed in this Complaint, the individual correctional officers named herein have committed the intentional torts of assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress by committing sexual assaults and engaging in sexual misconduct. (1)

Sexual assault is a popular subject for the prisons. The prison administration vigorously publicizes the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). They tell us we have rights. They tell us that we don't have to be subjected to any unwanted attention from the guards or other employees. They tell us they are there to help us. It even sounds noble. It sounds as if they believe what they are saying. Unfortunately, we later realized that they were simply going through the required motions. On the surface, PREA looks terrific; it appears to be a sincere effort to prevent sexual abuse. But it's always what's under the surface that matters, isn't it? And under the cloak of PREA, things have not changed. There are still guards forcing themselves on prisoners. There are still guards making sexual remarks to prisoners. And there are still those in Administration who allow sham investigations to take place, ultimately finding in favor of their staff. The charges are always "unfounded." The victim is humiliated and then discredited. We cannot win if we come forward.

In 2006, if an inmate made an allegation of sexual abuse against a staff member, the first thing that happened is that the inmate was moved to segregation. She would stay there as long as it took to conduct an "investigation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and the Importance of Litigation in Its Enforcement: Holding Guards Who Rape Accountable
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.