Petition Closed
Petitioning Wyoming Governor and 50 others

Governors: Remove youth from adult jails and prisons

On any given day, over 10,000 youth are detained or confined in adult jails and prisons.  The research shows that youth are not safe in adult jails and prisons and are at the greatest risk of sexual victimization.  According to research by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, youth under the age of 18 represented 21 percent of all substantiated victims of inmate-on-inmate sexual violence in jails in 2005, and 13 percent in 2006 – surprisingly high since only one percent of jail inmates are juveniles.   The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission found that “more than any other group of incarcerated persons, youth incarcerated with adults are probably at the highest risk for sexual abuse.”  Research also shows that youth are 36 times more likely to commit suicide in an adult jail than in a juvenile detention facility.   

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued final regulations in August, 2012 to implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) to end sexual violence behind bars, including protecting children from the dangers of adult jails and prisons.  Under these regulations, the U.S. Department of Justice will begin auditing facilities in August, 2013.

To protect children from sexual assault in adult jails and prisons, governors should implement PREA by banning the placement of youth in adult jails and prisons.

Letter to
Wyoming Governor
Oklahoma Governor
Ohio Governor
and 48 others
North Dakota Governor
North Carolina Governor
New York Governor
New Mexico Governor
New Jersey Governor
New Hampshire Governor
Nevada Governor
Nebraska Governor
Oregon Governor
Pennsylvania Governor
Rhode Island Governor
Wisconsin Governor
West Virginia Governor
Washington Governor
Virginia Governor
Vermont Governor
Utah Governor
Texas Governor
Tennessee Governor
South Dakota Governor
South Carolina Governor
Montana Governor
Missouri Governor
Mississippi Governor
Georgia Governor
Florida Governor
District Of Columbia Governor
Delaware Governor
Connecticut Governor
Colorado Governor
California Governor
Arkansas Governor
Arizona Governor
Alaska Governor
Hawaii Governor
Idaho Governor
Illinois Governor
Minnesota Governor
Michigan Governor
Massachusetts Governor
Maryland Governor
Maine Governor
Louisiana Governor
Kentucky Governor
Kansas Governor
Iowa Governor
Indiana Governor
Alabama Governor
I am writing to you on an issue of deep concern to me: the safety and well-being of youth in the justice system.

On any given day, over 10,000 youth are detained or incarcerated in adult jails and prisons where they are at the greatest risk of sexual assault and rape of all inmates.

By implementing the regulations for the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) this year, you have a critical opportunity to protect children in the justice system. To fully protect children in the justice system, I urge you to ban the placement of youth under 18 in adult jails and prisons.

Thank you for your time and consideration.