Abbott's statement does not immediately evelop Texas in the bosom of federal compliance, reported Patrick Svitek, because, "Under the PREA, governors also have to guarantee they will use at least five percent of justice department grant money in their efforts to fully meet the law's requirements — something Abbott did not do."
Still, this is a major reversal. If the governor had issued his decree five months ago, it would have put a lot more pressure on the state to pass raise-the-age legislation which died an ignominious and unnecessary death in the Texas House. Texas county jails housing 17 year olds must soon renovate and boost staffing to comply with PREA juvenile standards.
If, heaven forbid, Texas ends up in a special session over the budget or anything else, this turn of events argues for the governor to add "raise the age' legislation to the call.
MORE: Here's related coverage from the New York Times, which concluded:
AND MORE: From the Marshall Project.Last year, Texas was one of six “renegade states,” as inmate advocates called them. Two of them, Florida and Indiana, opted into the national effort to eliminate prison rape this year, submitting accepted assurances.It is unclear what the three others, Arizona, Idaho and Utah, did. The Justice Department’s list of certifications and assurances is not complete.
See related Grits posts:
- Recalling Texan origins of the Prison Rape Elimination Act
- Will PREA spur Texas to raise the age of criminal culpability
- Few states following Texas to defy prison rape regs
- PREA deadline passes: Perry tells Holder Texas won't comply
- More on Texas' PREA compliance
- Potential civil liability for failing to comply with Prison Rape Elimination Act
- Radio news questions Perry PREA stance in light of consultant's report
- Consultant: TDCJ 'receptive' to prison rape recommendations, 'confident' proposed solutions were 'reasonable and viable'
- Who is advising Rick Perry on prison rape?
- Perry: Texas won't comply with federal Prison Rape Elimination Act