This paper examines how the newly created American Bar Association standards on the treatment of prisoners address the issues of gender and sexuality in a correctional setting.
In 2010, the American Bar Association (ABA) promulgated a new set of standards on the treatment of prisoners that address the issues of gender and sexuality in a correctional setting. This paper examines how the standards handle these issues. The 1981 standards were updated in 2010 as a result of several factors: the unprecedented increase in incarceration rates, especially among women, and the way that the legal regulation of corrections has changed since 1981, most notably the passage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act in 2003 and the passage of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996. The second section of the paper examines how the updated provisions to the standards affect women prisoners. While the 1981 standards addressed the issue of pregnancy and maternity, the 2010 standards also address screening and classification, pregnancy and childbirth, and co-corrections and equal protection. Other issues addressed by the 2010 standards are discussed in part 3 of the paper and include custodial sexual abuse and prison sexual violence; searches and cross-gender supervision; lesbian, gay, and bisexual prisoners; and provisions affecting transgender prisoners. The paper highlights the idea that the updated 2010 ABA standards on the treatment of prisoners address the issues of gender and sexuality in a correctional setting in a comprehensive and thoughtful manner.
United States of America