Passion News Roundup: Last Day for Texas to Declare It Will Follow PREA

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May 15, 2015
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A self-portrait of Passion Star

Texas Gov. Gregory Abbott has only day left to make clear what plans, if any, Texas has to implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

Today is the U.S. Justice Department's deadline for the governors of all 50 states to confirm that their state is in compliance with the national standards set by PREA. Let's tell Gov. Abbott that we agree with our client Passion Star: "Safety from rape and assault is not a privilege. It is a right."

Tell Gov. Abbott it's time to stop prison rape in Texas on social media:

Thanks in part to the help of our nearly 10,000 petition signers, Passion's story made headlines this week.

On the front page of the New York Times online, Passion explained why Texas needs to implement federal PREA regulations:

“Look, I got 36 stitches and have scars on my face that prove the prisons are not safe and the current system does not work,” she said. “Somebody needs to be intrusive into this state’s business. Because if somebody was intruding, probably these things would not happen.”

Lambda Legal's Jael Humphrey said:

"Whether or not she was diagnosed as transgender has nothing to do with whether or not she deserves protection from sexual assault.”

On the blog Jezebel, reporter Anna Merlan published Passion's full letters:

"As a result of begging TCDJ staff to help me, I have found myself in more danger. Each time that I ask for help and am returned to general population, other incarcerated people suspect that I am a “snitch.” I have learned from my time in prison that the prison culture is one of retribution and violence against people who snitch. As a result of asking for help from TDCJ staff who have refused to take reasonable steps to protect me, I have been placed at greater risk of serious harm."

Additionally, Merlan published the shocking details of Texas prisons' indifference to violence against inmates:

"One lieutenant, she says, told her to stop filing complaints that triggered Offender Protection Investigations (OPIs). Instead, he suggested, 'Suck d***, fight or quit doing gay sh** and you’ll be okay, but quit running me with OPIs.'"

Take action today: tell Governor Abbott that it's time to implement PREA in Texas.