In the age of the Internet, anything can be controversial: motherhood, apple pie, cute puppies, even notions like “reducing rape is good.”
On May 17, the U.S. Department of Justice released the first set of regulations specifically written to address and reduce the problem of rape in American prisons. These guidelines came soon after the release of another justice department study estimating that 10 percent of American state prison inmates are sexually assaulted.
The guidelines include requiring adequate staffing levels in juvenile prisons, keeping juvenile and adult inmates separated, and ending male guards’ searching of female inmates—at the risk of losing justice department funding. Implementing the guidelines is expected to cost $6.9 billion over the next 15 years, roughly one percent of the total cost of running American prisons during that time.
So, to recap: the justice department under President Obama (a Democrat) passed guidelines to comply with a nine-year-old law passed under President Bush (a Republican), and a list of all senators and congressmen who voted for it back then covers the whole political spectrum. That makes the guidelines a bipartisan or even a non-partisan issue, right? One where everyone nods and says “Thank you, Captain Obvious” before going on to tackle some controversial issues?
In the real world, we hope so. On Twitter, not even close.
Photo by decade_null